Trial resumes for man charged in death of off-duty police officer in Kootenays

On trial for officer's death

A trial resumed Tuesday for a man charged with manslaughter in the death of an off-duty Abbotsford police officer.

Alex Willness, 28, is charged in the death of Const. Allen Young, 55, in downtown Nelson on the night of July 16, 2020.

Young had approached a man who was causing a disturbance. There was an altercation and Young died of his injuries several days later. Investigators said the men did not know each other.

Several people who witnessed the altercation on the night in question testified earlier in the trial about the confrontation between the two men and what led up to it. After Young was struck by a skateboard he fell to the ground and hit his head on the pavement.

The court also heard from a Kootenay Lake Hospital emergency physician who treated Young on the night he was injured in Nelson was on the stand and described the condition the officer was in when he arrived. He ordered a CT scan — revealing an open skull fracture — and later had Young taken by ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital.

Abbotsford Police Chief Const. Mike Serr issued a statement after Young’s death saying that Young always treated everyone with kindness and respect.

"He always had time for a laugh and a joke," Serr says. "Allan was never too busy for his friends and family and there was nothing he wouldn't do to help."

Willness was charged with manslaughter in March 2021. His trial began March 6. It is scheduled to continue all this week and next at the Nelson courthouse.

with files from Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

More BC News