Alleged victim testifies in Watson Lake assault case

A Watson Lake woman testified that she was hit, choked and threatened with a knife more than three years ago inside a local apartment. Agnes Reid gave her testimony yesterday in the Yukon Supreme Court trial of Michael Nehass.

A Watson Lake woman testified that she was hit, choked and threatened with a knife more than three years ago inside a local apartment.

Agnes Reid gave her testimony yesterday in the Yukon Supreme Court trial of Michael Nehass. She is expected to be cross-examined today.

Nehass, 31, is facing five charges from that December 21, 2011 event, including assault while threatening to use a weapon, forcible confinement and uttering death threats.

He is representing himself in the jury trial, which is expected to last the week.

Reid told the jury that Nehass called to her in the parking lot of Watson Lake’s Lakeview Apartments where she had stopped by to see a friend.

He later dragged her into an apartment. He said he’d heard she wasn’t afraid of him, she testified.

Once inside, the attack went on for about 30 minutes, she said.

At one point Nehass took a knife out of his pocket and held it near her throat, she told the jury.

He said he was going to slit her throat, she testified.

“It felt like forever,” she said of the attack.

She told the jury that Nehass kept hitting her and choking her, though she’s not sure how many times.

Reid said Nehass told her she should be afraid of him.

He threatened to kill her, her children and her grandchildren, she said.

When Nehass finally let her go, she went home, but waited about five hours to call the police.

She said she was afraid after Nehass’s threats and wanted to wait for her son-in-law to drive home from Fort Nelson and take her granddaughter to safety.

The court also heard from RCMP Const. Colin Kemp, one of the officers who investigated after Reid made her complaint.

The officer testified that he took photos of Reid but saw no significant injuries other than redness on her neck.

He said she seemed agitated, scared and concerned for her life.

After taking the photos and Reid’s statement, Kemp testified that officers went back to the Lakeview Apartments to look for Nehass but could not find him.

On Dec. 29, Nehass turned himself in, the officer said.

During cross examination by Nehass, the officer testified that he never found a knife.

The court has also appointed BC-lawyer Bibhas Vaze to act as “friend of the court” in this case.

Vaze questioned Kemp whether Reid’s agitated behaviour could have been because of drugs or alcohol.

At first the officer testified that he would have noticed whether Reid was intoxicated.

He later conceded that Reid’s agitation and fear could have been a result of intoxication.

Reid told the court she had been sober for two years at that point and doesn’t drink or use narcotics.

Vaze is expected to cross examine Reid today.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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