(Advocate file photo)

Two men faced off outside Sunchild First Nation store before deadly fight

High-speed vehicle chase ended up at store where fatal fight happened

An eyewitness testified that Evan Foureyes and Arley Lagrelle faced off outside a Sunchild First Nation store just before the fight that cost Lagrelle his life.

“It looked like they were about to fight,” testified Tayvan Tremblay on Tuesday. “They both put up their hands about to fight.”

Tremblay said he did not, at first, see that Foureyes was armed with a knife. But soon after the two exchanged punches on the night of Nov. 9, 2018 Lagrelle called out.

“He f–king stabbed me. He got me. He has a knife,” Tremblay recalled Lagrelle crying out in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Foureyes is on trial before a jury for second-degree murder, accused of killing Lagrelle with a single stab wound to the heart around 9 p.m. Foureyes is also charged with assault with a weapon and kidnapping with a firearm.

Tremblay said he immediately went to help Lagrelle, who is the brother of Jasyntha Littlejohn, Tremblay’s partner and the mother of six children.

After being stabbed, Lagrelle slowly walked towards the Sunchild store, where he collapsed.

“I tried to help him up but he couldn’t get up,” testified Tremblay before Justice Nick Devlin in a conference room at a north end hotel where the trial is being held to meet COVID-19 protocols.

Tremblay said he ripped open Lagrelle’s shirt and saw a stab wound near his heart.

Lagrelle was struggling to speak. “He tried talking. ‘Help me’ is all I could make out.”

Foureyes also came at Tremblay with his knife but he warded him off. Foureyes and several other people who had arrived at the store with him in a pickup then fled.

Tremblay, Littlejohn and Cody Mackinaw, who had been travelling with them that night, got the mortally wounded Lagrelle into the back seat of her SUV and raced to the hospital in Rocky Mountain House, about 50 km away.

The deadly fight was the culmination of a confrontation that began earlier in the evening when Foureyes challenged Lagrelle to fight outside a home Littlejohn had driven to. That did not turn into an altercation, but when Littlejohn and her three passengers drove off, the pickup that Foureyes was in along with several other people gave chase.

The pickup rammed Littlejohn’s SUV so hard it spun 360 degrees and badly dented a rear passenger door, he testified. Littlejohn drove off and her SUV was rammed by the pursuing pickup about half a dozen times before. After a high-speed chase both vehicles ended up at Sunchild store and the fatal confrontation would take place minutes later.

Defence lawyer Lynn Marie Rideout closely questioned Tremblay about the sequence of events in the parking lot when Lagrelle was stabbed.

During the preliminary hearing, Tremblay said he threw his coat to fend off a man attacking him who had been travelling with Foureyes and got out of the pickup to watch the fight.

However, Tremblay testified on Tuesday it was Foureyes who was attacking him when he threw his coat. He made a mistake at the preliminary hearing when he said he threw it at the other man, Tremblay said under questioning.

Mackinaw testified that he saw a knife in Foureyes’ hand just before he started fighting with Lagrelle. He saw Foureyes stab Lagrelle four times in the chest and side, he said.

“The fight didn’t go on very long because he started stumbling away,” he said of Lagrelle.

Mackinaw said Lagrelle said he was hurt and there was blood on his chest. “He said he didn’t want to die and he was hurt.”

The trial, which is scheduled to run through next week, continues Wednesday.

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