Witnesses recount events between stabbing victim and partner night before he died

·3 min read

Though nobody knew exactly what was going on between them, witnesses say something was not right in Selena Lomen and Danny Klondike's relationship in the time leading up to Klondike's violent death.

Lomen, 23, is accused of murdering Klondike, her common-law spouse, in their community of Fort Liard on Oct. 28, 2018. She is currently on trial for the homicide in N.W.T. Supreme Court in Yellowknife.

Dustin Hope was among the roughly 20 people, including Lomen and Klondike, at a Halloween party that Saturday night leading to Klondike's death.

'He appeared to be crying,' says witness

He told the court that Klondike appeared very intoxicated that night. At one point he saw Klondike sitting in an armchair appearing about to pass out. But Hope said that later, he saw the 34-year-old walking around and socializing again.

Around midnight, he saw Klondike walking into the house.

"He appeared to be crying," recalled Hope. As Klondike passed by, he said, "Selena is mad at me."

Hope said at the time he was not sure how much the alcohol had contributed to Klondike's emotional state. He said a few moments later, Lomen walked in. Hope said she was wearing a teal-coloured hoodie and was no longer in the Halloween costume other witnesses said she wore when the couple first arrived. Hope said Lomen stood beside Klondike for a short while then turned and left.

"She flipped the hoodie over her head and she walked out of the party," Hope testified.

He said he saw Lomen again as he was leaving the party with his girlfriend shortly after everyone had gathered outside to watch some fireworks. He said Lomen was standing near the water treatment plant alone. He said he saw a woman approach her in the darkness and ask what was wrong.

Victim confided his relationship troubles

The party was hosted by Manny Vital and his partner, Janna Deneron, with help from Deneron's sister, Hillary Deneron. Almost all of the people at the party grew up in the small Dehcho community and have known each other their whole lives.

Vital testified that Klondike and Lomen arrived at the party together. He said they left together before midnight, but Klondike returned soon after, alone. Vital said Lomen phoned him about 30 minutes later and asked him to tell Klondike to give her a call. He said he saw Klondike stagger away from the party with two other men shortly before 1 a.m.

Janna Deneron testified that Lomen returned to the party to try to find Klondike.

"I didn't get a vibe off her that she was upset," said Deneron. "She just asked if he was still there and I said 'no.'"

Vital said Lomen had texted him several times during the summer, when he was supervising Klondike and others on a forest fire crew outside of the community. He said she asked whether Klondike was there.

Vital said Klondike confided in him about troubles in his relationship.

"He said his common-law flips out all the time and he tries to calm her down."

The nurse who arrived to try to help Klondike the morning he died testified that by the time she got there, it was too late. He said she found him lying face down in a pool of blood. He had no pulse and was not breathing.

Lomen has already admitted she stabbed Klondike. She told police she has no memory of what happened before or after the stabbing. At the start of the trial, she tried to plead guilty to manslaughter but the prosecutor did not accept her plea.

The trial continues Tuesday afternoon.