July 23, 2024

OTTAWA — Witnesses recalled a party of alcohol, hugs, angry words and murder in this morning’s testimony about the stabbing death of Paul Nicholson. John Balbirnie is being tried for first-degree murder in Nicholson’s death last July. Brandon Ellsmore, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of the man he described as his good friend, testified today that after an evening of drinking, he, Balbirnie and Phil Wallace met Nicholson and invited him to Wallace’s house. Ellsmore described Nicholson as very drunk. Theresa Brown told jurors she woke up during the party to find Nicholson choking Wallace, who was her fiance’. She says when she asked for help, Brandon Ellsmore intervened and started fighting Nicholson. Ellsmore said when he intervened, Nicholson punched him in the face and Ellsmore punched back She said she later saw Ellsmore and Nicholson hugging. Ellsmore said that later, Nicholson got into another fight with Wwallace. He said that during that fight, he and Balbirnie tried to break up the fight, Nicholson charged them and they stabbed him. Ellsmore said he broke the handle of a kitchen knife when he stabbed Nicholson, but he didn’t seem to notice the stab wound. Prosecutors say that Balbirnie’s stab killed Nicholson.
Tuesday, April 12, 3:30 p.m.

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