Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)

Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)

Client’s confession not believable, says lawyer of teen charged in death of South Surrey mechanic

Trial of youth accused of second-degree murder of Paul Prestbakmo wraps up

The lawyer for one of two youths charged with killing South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo said there’s no way anyone should believe his client’s confession.

The teen, Kevin Westell informed Judge Robert Hamilton March 9, told friends different versions of events in the hours and days that followed Prestbakmo’s death, and made “conflicting, fantastical” statements as to why he and another teen attacked the 45-year-old that August 2019 morning – including saying that they were hired by the Red Scorpions to carry out a hit.

Those “shifting sands… should cause your honour to really pause before accepting any of the evidence that comes out of my client’s mouth,” Westell said during closing submissions in Surrey Provincial Court.

“(He is)… a frequent liar, and someone whose word cannot be counted on.”

Prestbakmo died just before 3:30 a.m. on the morning in question, after he was stabbed 42 times in a commercial parking lot at 18 Avenue and 152 Street.

Westell’s client and another teen – both of whom cannot be publicly identified due to their ages – are charged with second-degree murder in connection with Prestbakmo’s death. They’re also charged with aggravated assault in connection with “life-changing” injuries sustained by a senior earlier that same morning.

In closing submissions heard starting March 8, Crown counsel contended that the teens knew the potential consequences of their “intense, ferocious” attack on Prestbakmo, were co-perpetrators in both crimes and, as such, should be held equally responsible.

READ MORE: ‘Intense, ferocious’ attack on South Surrey mechanic shows intent to kill: Crown

Michael Klein, defense counsel for the co-accused, submitted that there was “simply no evidence” that his client participated in an assault on the senior, nor that he inflicted the wounds that killed Prestbakmo.

During trial, court heard from experts that DNA from the crime linked Prestbakmo to the accused. CCTV footage associated with both crime scenes was also viewed and analyzed. A number of witnesses testified that Westell’s client was a frequent liar.

Noting he’s never been in a position of casting aspersions on his own client’s character before, Westell told the court that while it’s “reasonable to infer that either one or both of the boys participated in both attacks,” the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his client had intent to kill.

“The Crown has not come close to proving (my client’s) culpability,” he said. “The question of… who did what cannot be answered by the evidence before the court.”

Westell said evidence in Prestbakmo’s case supports nothing greater than a finding of manslaughter. He asked the court to acquit his client of both murder and aggravated assault.

A date to present the verdict is to be set in Surrey Provincial Court on March 24.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (File photo)

A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (File photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sports broadcaster and 30-year high school football coach Farhan Lalji. (Image via
Farhan Lalji chats about the new B.C. high school sports governance proposal

Lalji, a 30-year high school football coach, thinks student athletes could lose out under new proposal

Delta character - and former White Rock resident - Pansy May Stuttard inspects a loaded revolver in the cover photo for Jim Dwight and Gary Cullen’s fascinating biography, Lord don’t want me Devil won’t take me. Contributed photo
West Coast’s ‘Pistol-packin’ Pansy’ lives on in colourful biography

Infamous Delta character ended her days in White Rock and South Surrey

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Surrey councillor trying to get policing referendum on the table, again

‘I’m sending it back for clarification,’ mayor decides

(Photo: MOSAIC/Facebook)
Organization receives $10K from B.C. government to tackle racism in Surrey, White Rock

Funding to go toward forum for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read