Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)

Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)

Client’s confession not believable, says lawyer of teen charged in death of South Surrey mechanic

Trial of youth accused of second-degree murder of Paul Prestbakmo wraps up

The lawyer for one of two youths charged with killing South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo said there’s no way anyone should believe his client’s confession.

The teen, Kevin Westell informed Judge Robert Hamilton March 9, told friends different versions of events in the hours and days that followed Prestbakmo’s death, and made “conflicting, fantastical” statements as to why he and another teen attacked the 45-year-old that August 2019 morning – including saying that they were hired by the Red Scorpions to carry out a hit.

Those “shifting sands… should cause your honour to really pause before accepting any of the evidence that comes out of my client’s mouth,” Westell said during closing submissions in Surrey Provincial Court.

“(He is)… a frequent liar, and someone whose word cannot be counted on.”

Prestbakmo died just before 3:30 a.m. on the morning in question, after he was stabbed 42 times in a commercial parking lot at 18 Avenue and 152 Street.

Westell’s client and another teen – both of whom cannot be publicly identified due to their ages – are charged with second-degree murder in connection with Prestbakmo’s death. They’re also charged with aggravated assault in connection with “life-changing” injuries sustained by a senior earlier that same morning.

In closing submissions heard starting March 8, Crown counsel contended that the teens knew the potential consequences of their “intense, ferocious” attack on Prestbakmo, were co-perpetrators in both crimes and, as such, should be held equally responsible.

READ MORE: ‘Intense, ferocious’ attack on South Surrey mechanic shows intent to kill: Crown

Michael Klein, defense counsel for the co-accused, submitted that there was “simply no evidence” that his client participated in an assault on the senior, nor that he inflicted the wounds that killed Prestbakmo.

During trial, court heard from experts that DNA from the crime linked Prestbakmo to the accused. CCTV footage associated with both crime scenes was also viewed and analyzed. A number of witnesses testified that Westell’s client was a frequent liar.

Noting he’s never been in a position of casting aspersions on his own client’s character before, Westell told the court that while it’s “reasonable to infer that either one or both of the boys participated in both attacks,” the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his client had intent to kill.

“The Crown has not come close to proving (my client’s) culpability,” he said. “The question of… who did what cannot be answered by the evidence before the court.”

Westell said evidence in Prestbakmo’s case supports nothing greater than a finding of manslaughter. He asked the court to acquit his client of both murder and aggravated assault.

A date to present the verdict is to be set in Surrey Provincial Court on March 24.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HomicideSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (File photo)

A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (File photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service to begin public consultation late June, early July

Community input, chief constable says, ‘will occur’

Surrey RCMP reunited three stolen puppies with their mom. (RCMP handout)
Puppies stolen from South Surrey home located, reunited with mom

Surrey RCMP said they found the stolen puppies on April 16

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard 
to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s plan for 84 Ave. at south end of Bear Creek Park

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read