A former star football player with the University of Manitoba Bisons and Winnipeg Rifles (also attended the Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp in 2009) is on trial for manslaughter. Twenty-five year old Jeremy Botelho is alleged to have killed 18 year old Kelly Clay with one punch of the dancefloor of the Nor Villa Motor Hotel in April of 2010. Clay later died.
Botelho’s lawyer has taken the unusual step of already telling the jury his client will be testifying in his own defence. Defence counsel Ryan Rolston has told the jury this is ‘not a who done it as you may have seen on tv’. He says he is not disputing that Botelho hit Clay but asked jurors to consider whether he was justified in doing so once they hear all the evidence. In a brief address, he asked jurors to pay close attention to the actions of Clay on surveillance video they’ll be shown. That surveillance video will be a key part of the crown’s case.
Prosecutor Mark Kantor told jurors the punch was unnecessary and any suggestion of self defence does not apply. He told court Clay died from head trauma. The charge of manslaughter implies that there was not an intent to kill from Botelho. Kantor said he would call several friends of the victim and the accused during the trial. He said he expected some would testify about an altercation between the two earlier in the evening and some would describe seeing the punch. The trial is scheduled to last for four weeks.