A witness in the trial of Alex Willness, who was found guilty of manslaughter in Nelson Supreme Court last week in the death of offduty Abbotsford police officer Allan Young, is relieved with the verdict. Karman Tait watched the fatal attack on Young while he was dining on a Baker Street patio in July 2020.
He also placed Willness under citizen’s arrest after he ran away.
Tait says the night of the incident has haunted him ever since, but he feels relief that Willness is being held accountable for his actions.
“This is something that will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life. All I can say is everything comes out in the wash. The justice system did their job, and the truth was revealed.”
Tait, along with several other witnesses, testified against Willness in March. He says the guilty verdict provides closure to the victim’s family and eyewitnesses who watched the fatal assault.
“It’s one of those things where you will always have scars and you’ll always have those stories to tell. It’s something that you have to take day by day. Regardless of what the verdict was, the situation still took place, but I definitely think it provides closure for not only myself, but also the family involved. It also shows that there’s accountability for people’s actions.”
He also says the verdict reinforces his faith in the justice system.
“The system still works, and the system still holds people accountable for their wrongdoings. I believe that that is something that we should take away from this,” says Tait. “The citizens of Nelson, the citizens of British Columbia can rest easy now knowing that one less violent offender has been held accountable for their actions.”
He says the guilty verdict highlights how good people are capable of doing the right thing, even if it’s hard.
“The people who stepped up and did the right thing allowed for this verdict to be reached. Good men did the right thing. Bad men in this case did the wrong thing. In this case, the good men and women who are involved helped tell the truth and helped reach this verdict, which I believe to be the correct one,” says Tait.
Tait hopes people involved the night of the traumatic incident learn a valuable lesson in the importance of doing the right thing.
Willness, who struck Young repeatedly over the head with a skateboard, returns to court in August to fix a date for sentencing.