Advocate file photo

Advocate file photo

Updated: Man stabbed to death in 2019 identified Quentin Strawberry as his attacker: woman testifies

Common-law partner of murdered man testified under defence cross-examination

A fatally wounded Red Deer man identified Quentin Strawberry as his stabber, the victim’s common-law partner testified on Thursday.

Amanda Carter said she asked her partner, Joseph Gallant, 45, if he had been shot when she found him badly injured in the early hours of March 29, 2019.

“He said, ‘No, he stabbed me,” Carter testified under cross-examination in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday.

Carter replied, “What?”

”The f—ker stabbed me,” Gallant said. Carter testified that she immediately asked, “Q stabbed you?”

”Yes,” he replied.

Strawberry is on trial for second-degree murder, accused of fatally stabbing Gallant in his rented Grandview home some time after midnight on March 29. He is also facing an assault charge for allegedly attacking Carter.

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Around the time of the brief conversation with Gallant it was clear he had been badly hurt.

He was pale, his eyes were rolling in his head and he was leaning against a wall at the front of the house on 40A Ave. near 39 St.

Carter herself had been brutally beaten and was bleeding heavily from an assault by a woman who had come to the house with Strawberry and another man and a woman around midnight.

Defence lawyer Maurice Collard questioned Carter closely about why Gallant’s identification of his attacker only first came up near the end of the sixth statement she gave police many hours after the stabbing.

Carter said she believed that she told the RCMP what Gallant had said to her early on but before recorded questioning began.

The reason Gallant’s comment only came up towards the end of the sixth interview was that the police were asking her questions about the evening chronologically, she testified.

”I was speaking of things that happened last,” she testified. “I was speaking of a sequence of events.”

Collard pointed out that in a preliminary hearing it came out that Carter was asked by police more than once whether Gallant told her who stabbed him. She said he had not.

In the afternoon, Red Deer RCMP Const. Charlotte Rockwell, who went to Carter’s aid at the scene and would barely leave her side for the next 10 hours, took the stand.

When Rockwell arrived, Carter was standing on the lawn with no shoes on and covered in blood, Rockwell testified. An ambulance was called and Rockwell began interviewing her, taking notes that began at 12:48 a.m. and were her only record of the conversations until 1:10 a.m. when she began recording as well as taking notes while in the ambulance.

Rockwell agreed with Collard that none of the notes taken in that 22-minute window show Carter naming the stabber.

Rockwell said she heard Carter mention a “Q” on the lawn, but agreed when questioned that Carter also named four other people.

It was not until about 7:50 a.m. in the hospital that Carter identified Strawberry as Gallant’s killer.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Eric Bol testified that Gallant died from blood loss after receiving a stab wound to the left side of his chest.

The weapon, likely one-edged, left a wound 32 cm deep and the left lung was penetrated. Gallant also had blunt-force injuries to his face, head, arms and legs.

Bol said he could not say with accuracy how long someone could survive with that type of wound. But it would be measured in seconds and minutes.

Neighbour Louis Zimmerman and his wife heard a commotion and after calling 911 went to Gallant’s home where they found the injured man. They held a towel against his chest wound to try to slow the bleeding.

Gallant did not say who stabbed him. “He just kept saying he couldn’t breathe,” Zimmerman testified.

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