by Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on Wednesday March 15 2023
A man charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of an off-duty police officer in Nelson has pleaded not guilty.
Alex Willness, 28, pleaded not guilty to one count of manslaughter from a July 2020 incident on Baker Street that ended with a skateboard that allegedly caused the death of off-duty police officer Allan Young, 55, five days later in Kelowna at the general hospital.
Young, a 20-year veteran of the Abbotsford Police force, was seriously injured when he approached a man causing a disturbance in the roadway and a physical altercation ensued.
Testimony was heard last week in the trial — before a judge but no jury — at the Nelson Courthouse, with the case scheduled to be back in session Monday, March 20 in Nelson.
Several people who witnessed the altercation on the night in question testified about the confrontation between the two men and what led up to it. After Young was struck by a skateboard he fell to the ground and hit his head on the pavement.
Also last week the Kootenay Lake Hospital emergency physician who treated Young on the night he was injured in Nelson was on the stand and described the condition the officer was in when he arrived. He ordered a CT scan — revealing an open skull fracture — and later had Young taken by ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital.
The trial resumes on Monday, March 20 in Nelson.