The second-degree murder trial has started for a Calgary man alleged to have murdered a Nigerian father who was a nursing student at the Bow Valley College.
Nicholas Nwonye was fatally stabbed on June 3, 2017, in a random attack at the City Hall CTrain platform while he waited for his train after classes.
43-year old Keeton Gagnon was arrested inside a CTrain car shortly after the murder.
Some months earlier, Gagnon was released from his third prison stint. He had been observing a three-year sentence for assault with a weapon.
Nwonye left his job as an engineer in Nigeria 18-months before he died to relocate his family to Canada.
He was working two jobs in a bid to support his wife and three children while studying nursing at Bow Valley College.
On the first day of Gagnon’s seven-day trial, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins was told that identity would not be an issue at trial.
Crown and defence have agreed it was Gagnon that attacked Nwonye.
Though defence may argue the killing was not deliberate and request that the judge convict on manslaughter, a lesser offence than murder.
Gagnon has a long criminal history with police in British Columbia which dates back to two decades. He is a career criminal with a lot of convictions which include assault with a weapon, robbery, escaping custody and a lot of breaches.