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CanadaWoman hiding in closet overheard fatal attack on Katz, court hears

19:25  13 september  2019
19:25  13 september  2019 Source:   leaderpost.com

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Amanda Coate told the court she ran to hide in a closet as she overheard what proved to be a fatal attack on her close friend, Blaine Katz . Blaine Katz . Two people -- Steven St. Pierre and Gerald McDormand -- have been charged with murder in the 39-year-old's death. Facebook photo. /

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Woman hiding in closet overheard fatal attack on Katz, court hears Blaine Katz. Two people -- Steven St. Pierre and Gerald McDormand -- have been charged with murder in the 39-year-old's death. Facebook photo.

The last interaction Amanda Coate said she had with Blaine Katz was his giving her a kiss and telling her he loved her.

Moments later, the slightly built woman said she was dashing for a bedroom closet as the sounds of an attack on Katz reached her.

Coate testified on Thursday at the trial for 46-year-old Gerald Earl McDormand, accused of manslaughter in the Aug. 12, 2017 stabbing death of 39-year-old Katz. A second man, Steven St. Pierre, previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter .

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Woman hiding in closet overheard fatal attack … 12.09.2019 · Moments later, the slightly built woman said she was dashing for a bedroom closet as the sounds of an attack on Katz reached her.

Coate said she’d known Katz for about a year and a half and that the two were close friends.

About a week before the stabbing, she said she met McDormand. At the time, she was addicted to drugs and working as an escort, and he’d purchased her services, she said.

Coate acknowledged she and Katz had a falling out over money shortly before the incident. But she said they’d worked it out by the time they arranged to meet the night of the 12th.

She said McDormand contacted her, wanting her to facilitate a meeting between him and Katz. McDormand, she understood, had an issue with Katz over money owed or bad dope. Coate didn’t think much of it, she said, explaining that sort of thing is common in the drug world. She said she knew if Katz owed something, “he might have to take his shots for it.”

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“I never thought in a million years that it would take his life,” she said during often-emotional testimony.

She said McDormand — whom she knew then only as “Troy” or “Hammer” — along with St. Pierre and a woman picked her up and took her to an apartment building at 2105 Cornwall St. she used for escort work.

“There was lots of tension in the car,” she said.

Coate said she let the group into the building where McDormand satisfied himself she wasn’t hiding Katz. She said the trio eventually left her apartment, although she believed they were still in or around the building.

She said Katz arrived in a cab and she met him downstairs. There, she said she attempted to dissuade him from coming upstairs but he insisted.

She said she led Katz up to the apartment, unlocked the door and let the two of them in. At that point, she said he kissed her and told her he loved her. She testified she was walking toward the bedroom, Katz in the process of closing the apartment door, when she heard him scream.

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“He was screaming out my name, begging me to help him,” she said, sobbing.

Coate said she was terrified and ran for the bedroom closet to hide. There, she said, she heard repeated “thuds” amidst Katz’s yells.

“At the end, he’s yelling for me,” she said. “He said he was hurt really bad but I was so afraid to come out of the closet.”

She said things eventually become “eerie quiet,” at which point she re-emerged. She saw blood and, moving into the hall, the top of a head lying on the staircase . She didn’t go for a closer look, instead heading to her neighbour’s apartment and leaving by the fire escape.

When asked by defence lawyer Jeff Deagle why she’d done things like lock her deadbolt and ask her neighbour for a towel, she attributed it to shock. She denied a suggestion she’d asked St. Pierre for protection from Katz.

She told the court McDormand later contacted her from jail and asked her to pin the stabbing on St. Pierre.

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