PEMBROKE – All evidence has been submitted and both the victim and alleged assailant have had their day(s) in court. The judge overseeing the trial is expected to set a date for a verdict later this month.
The trial wrapped up last Friday (Jan. 15) and all evidence against 74-year-old William ‘Bill’ Kirby has been officially submitted. Kirby has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault and for issuing death threats stemming stem from an incident on Sept. 13, 2018 when a victim was found with stab wounds in a wooded area in McNab-Braeside Township.
Kirby is a well-known Arnprior and area volunteer who spent more than 20 years as a hockey referee and softball umpire. Kirby is also one of the founding members of the Arnprior Civitan Club; was a member of the Lions Club; and part of the Arnprior OPP community policing. Kirby was found guilty on Nov. 30 2020, of rape and indecent assault in a historic sexual assault trial dating back almost 50-years. Kirby told the court he is appealing that conviction which is expected to be sentenced in March.
In last week’s trial the former Arnprior resident denied all accusations in his two-and-a-half-days on the stand at the Pembroke courthouse.
It’s alleged Kirby took the victim to the end of Gunsmith Road, told her to get out of the vehicle, put his hand on their shoulder and said, “today’s your day to die you lying (expletive deleted),” before stabbing her.
Kirby told the court a different story. He says the victim got out of his vehicle, ran and grabbed a stick and started hitting him with it. Kirby says he grabbed a throwing knife, from a set he was going to gift to the victim’s son, from his vehicle and told the victim “now we’re even” because she had a stick and he had a knife. Kirby says the victim was cut because he had the knife in his hand when he tried to push her back. The crown argued if that was the case it would have been a slash instead of a clean puncture wound. The crown also pointed out based on where Kirby said he was holding the knife, the wound would have been to the chest not near the belly button. Kirby told the court if he wanted to kill the victim, “she wouldn’t be here today,” and he would have used the drywall or gyprock knife in the back of his vehicle with his tools.
The victim testified Kirby told her to walk into the bushes and when she tripped, he kicked her multiple times. The victim’s glasses and earplugs from work were found nearby. The victim testified this was the first time a stick was involved as she swung it at Kirby to get him to back off. Kirby had a different version of events telling the court the two walked around in the bushes for roughly an hour and a half and had a couple of cigarettes before the victim tripped and fell down a gully where her ear and neck were cut. Video evidence of the area where the victim was found did not show the gulley described by Kirby. Photos also showed a similar cut on the victim’s neck to what was found on her stomach. Both cuts were clean punctures. The victim never saw Kirby stab her the second time, but says she was walking in the bushes with Kirby behind her when she felt a sharp pain in the neck and crawled in to the fetal position.
An audio recording from a device Kirby had on him at the he was arrested was submitted as evidence. One of the 40-minute recordings captures Kirby trying to take his own life, the victim begging to not be left alone and several 911 calls. Kirby told the court he intentionally turned the recording device on when he noticed things were going south, but he told officers a few days after the incident he hoped the device wasn’t on, contradicting what he said while under oath and on the stand. While talking to the 911 dispatch officers on the day of the alleged attack, Kirby asked for an ambulance to come out because the victim had an injury to her neck and was bleeding. Kirby disclosed to the dispatch responder on the phone that the neck injury wasn’t an accident. There was also no mention of the victim falling in the bush on any of the 911 calls. From the audio recording, Kirby can be heard telling the victim, “I have to go,” a number of times, but ultimately stayed until help arrived. A nurse testified Kirby told her when the victim said she didn’t want to talk anymore, he lost it. The crown alleges Kirby had a change of heart after trying to kill the victim because she said she still loved him. The victim told the court she said those words because she didn’t want to die. After police arrived and handcuffed him, Kirby told the victim, “see you later.” The crown alleged Kirby slashed his wrists at the scene because he knew the stabbings weren’t an accident or out of self defense. Kirby had a common response during the trial telling the court, “good story, but definitely not.”
The defense will make written submissions to the judge before Feb. 5 with the Crown to submitting submissions the following week. A phone conference on Jan. 28 will set the dates for the judge’s final decision, which will likely be done virtually. If found guilty, sentencing would follow.
- With files from MyFM