By Sally MacDonald
Cranbrook Daily Townsman
Cory Jarock died of hypothermia after being kicked out of a house party in Invermere in April 2012, according to the prosecution in the trial of Brian Panebianco.
The 25-year-old Invermere man is charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, robbery and assault causing bodily harm in the death of 31-year-old Mr. Jarock, who was found deceased on April 3rd, 2012 in the driveway of a home in Invermeres Tunnacliffe Heights neighbourhood.
The two-week trial got underway Tuesday, January 14th in Cranbrook Supreme Court before Justice Kenneth Ball and a 14-person jury, including two alternates.
Crown prosecutor Lynal Doerksen began the evidence by addressing the jury.
This case is a tragic case. Its something that didnt have to happen and could easily have been avoided, he said.
Mr. Doerksen went on to summarize the evidence he would be presenting. He told the jury that two young women invited a group of friends, including Mr. Panebianco and Mr. Jarock, to a small party on April 2, 2012.
People were drinking, and Mr. Jarock drank an awful lot, explained Mr. Doerksen. One of the girls asked Mr. Panebianco to deal with Mr. Jarock, who had become a nuisance. Unfortunately, he did that in a way that is not acceptable, said Mr. Doerksen.
Mr. Panebianco assaulted Mr. Jarock, threw him outside and left him there, Mr. Doerksen told the jury, adding the temperature that spring night dipped below freezing.
When Mr. Panebianco left the party about 45 minutes later, Mr. Jarock was still outside.
Invermere realtor Daniel Zurgilgen was called as a witness to describe what he saw when he drove down the street the next day at about 1 p.m.
Mr. Zurgilgen testified that he was turning around in the cul-de-sac on 5th Avenue when he saw a person lying on a driveway. He pulled over and began to approach the person. Mr. Jarock was lying on his front with his backside exposed, he wasnt wearing shoes and his limbs were blue, Mr. Zurgilgen said. He stopped two metres away from the man and called 911.
A tape of the 911 call was played during the trial. Mr. Zurgilgen can be heard talking to the BC Ambulance dispatcher.
Hes not moving. Its not looking good, he said on the tape. The paramedic who responded also testified Tuesday that when he arrived on the scene, he checked Mr. Jarocks vital signs and determined that he was deceased.
Two RCMP officers, one a forensic specialist, also gave evidence about the scene. Cst. Christopher Sheppard was the first RCMP officer to respond. He saw a jacket, two shoes and socks and a baseball cap scattered around the front yard.
Cpl. Eric Page told the court that he found traces of blood on the pavement and on the steps leading to the house, but it was too faint to be tested.
The testimony continues in Cranbrook Supreme Court this week.