“I didn’t even know I stabbed him”: accused testifies in attempted murder trial

The Prince Albert Court of Queen's Bench, where the attempted murder trial of Elias Ballantyne is reaching its final stages.

Elias Ballantyne, facing attempted murder charges for the stabbing of John McKenzie, took the stand in his own defence on Thursday. He told the court that he didn’t realize that he stabbed McKenzie, or that he was using a knife.

In closing statements, his lawyer used his testimony to paint Ballantyne as man who “feared for his life” and “did what he needed to do.”

Ballantyne told the court that he thought McKenzie was going to kill him during a scuffle in La Ronge last year.

He testified that he went to McKenzie’s home on March 17, looking to “bum a smoke” from his aunt, who was dating McKenzie at the time.

But when his aunt handed him one of her boyfriend’s cigarettes, he claimed, McKenzie grabbed him on the shoulder and soon started throwing punches.

“I told him I didn’t want to fight,” Ballantyne said.

The scuffle continued, and the two men ended up on the floor of the kitchen, Ballantyne told the court. He said he was pinned, his stomach pressed against the floor. Then, according to his testimony, the violence escalated.

“He pulled up my head and smashed it into the floor,” Ballantyne said.

He claimed he then saw McKenzie reach for an object. Ballantyne couldn’t tell what it was, he claimed, but he said it seemed “bright.”

“I just saw silver.”

For more on this story, see the March 3 print or e-edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.