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(Updated 6:30 a.m., Feb. 5)

Jury hears conflicting opening statements in Scott Ledoux stabbing death trial
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ben Taylor as pictured in an undated photo (left), and a photo taken the same night Scott Ledoux was stabbed to death in Taylor's Cousineau Street apartment in the early morning hours on March 18, 2011. File photo

If the opening day of the Scott Ledoux murder trial is any indication, the jury will have their work cut out for them in trying to come up with a verdict.

Ledoux was stabbed eight times and was killed while attending a house party on Cousineau Street in Orléans on St. Patrick's Day 2011,

Depending on whose version of events you believe the accused, Benjamin Andrew Taylor, was either a host trying to protect himself from a belligerent, drunken party crasher, or himself an intoxicated party host thrown into a rage after his apartment was trashed.

Those were the two positions laid out by the prosecution and the defence un their opening statements on Monday.

During his opening statement to the jury, defence lawyer Ewan Lyttle described Taylor as a “skinny, scrawny 18-year-old,” who was defending himself against Ledoux, who was both bigger and stronger than Taylor and “was very drunk and had cocaine in his system,” an autopsy later found.

According to Lyttle's retelling of events, Taylor had asked Ledoux to leave several times during the party. They exchanged blows at least twice before the final fatal encounter and each time Ledoux refused to leave the basement apartment.

Lyttle went on to argue that Ledoux’s friends “egged him on”, leading him to attack Taylor “in his own home,” forcing him to defend himself.

But Crown Attorney Robert Wadden laid out a much different chain of events. He told the jury that Taylor had left his own party for a few hours after becoming angry. When he came back the apartment was in a shambles and his belongings had been damaged and broken. That is when he began ordering people to leave, singling out people he didn't know including Ledoux/

When Ledoux refused, Taylor allegedly punched him in the face and they began to fight. After others jumped in to break up the fight, Taylor went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife.

Wadden said at least one witness heard Taylor mutter, "I'm going to stab that guy."

Although no one saw Taylor actually stab Ledoux, he did so eight times including once in the heart. After a number of friends wrestled the two combatants apart Ledoux lifted his shirt up saying, "That guy just stabbed me", and collapsed.

After the incident, Taylor left his apartment and went to stay with his girlfriend. He turned himself in the following day after he learned Ledoux had died .

Both the prosecution and the defence plan to call several witnesses to the stand to prove their respective positions. The trial continues today.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)



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