Trial of brothers accused of killing Nick Tanti starts in Guelph
The trial of two brothers accused of killing Nick Tanti opened in Guelph Monday.
Tanti, 27, was stabbed during a confrontation outside a downtown Guelph bar on MacDonnell Street around 2 a.m. on February 29, 2020.
He was taken to hospital where he later died from his injuries.
Aidan and Angus Kee were initially both facing first-degree murder charges at the time of Tanti’s death.
Those charges have now changed.
Aidan, 28, is now on trial for second-degree murder. Angus, 26, is on trial for manslaughter and accessory after the fact.
Angus was granted $75,000 bail in May, 2020.
Aidan was granted bail for $104,000 in July, 2020 – a move that prompted outcry from Tanti’s family.
THE TRIAL BEGINS
On Monday, both brothers returned to the courtroom with family by their side as the trial began.
Day one included an opening statement and witnesses called by the Crown. The defence will share their statements on another day.
Crown attorney Leila Mehkeri told the jury that Angus “took possession of the weapon” and “helped his brother escape.”
Telling the jury her account of the evening, Mehkeri said Aidan finished a shift at a night club on Wyndham Street and began drinking. His brother Angus met him for a drink as well. According to the Crown, Nick Tanti attended that same club for a short time that evening but was asked by staff to leave due to his “history” with the establishment.
Mehkeri said Tanti then left and went to Tony’s Billiards, where the incident in question took place around 1:45 a.m.
The Crown told the jury Tanti was sitting at a window seat at Tony’s Billiards. As the Kee brothers walked by, Tanti walked outside, the Crown said.
ALTERCATIONS CAUGHT ON VIDEO
The Crown also called on two Guelph police officers as witnesses.
Video played in court showed two altercations outside of Tony’s billiards on Feb. 29, 2020.
The first was a fist fight, involving both accused and the victim along MacDonnell Street.
The Crown attorney said Tanti “throws a punch.”
The video then showed what appeared to be Tanti walking shirtless back into the pool bar and to the bathroom for a short time before returning outside.
Const. Rick Towlson testified that the video “shows Aidan Kee in the apartment doorway with an object in his hand.”
In her opening statement the crown argued Aidan was hiding behind a concrete wall.
Towlson went on to say the video showed that “Aidan Kee swung towards the victim with an object.”
The officer then stated: “The victim returns to the doorway shirtless and bloody holding his chest.”
During cross examination of Cst. Towlson, the defence said the video appeared to show Tanti may have had an object in his hand at one point. The object was not defined.
A second officer then testified on the arrest of the brothers.
Acting Sergeant Christopher Sutter testified that when he arrived on scene he witnessed “a person lying on the floor of the vestibule at Tony’s Billiards.”
The officer said a taxi driver helped him.
“I asked him if he had witnessed what transpired. He told me he had,” said Sutter.
The taxi driver then told the officer which way he saw two men go.
“I asked the taxi driver, are those the two people you believe are involved? He said ‘yes,’” Sutter said.
The officer described arresting the brothers at gun point, without incident, moments after speaking with the driver.
“I observed small droplets of blood,” he said, referring to the clothing and hands of Angus.
“I found a folding knife in his right rear pocket,” Sutter said.
Sutter testified that before arresting the brothers, he looked around and did not see anyone else.
The defence asked Sutter, “Why did you use a gun?”
“I pointed my firearm to protect myself and anyone else in the area,” Sutter answered.
Nick Tanti’s family was also present in the courtroom.
Day two of the trial continues on Tuesday.
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