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‘I didn’t use my brain,’ witness says

Cory Jarock, 31, died in Invermere in April 2012. - Courtesy Columbia Valley Pioneer
Cory Jarock, 31, died in Invermere in April 2012.
— image credit: Courtesy Columbia Valley Pioneer

The young woman who hosted a gathering in April 2012 after which Cory Jarock died testified in court on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Caitlin Jensen, 21, said she invited a few friends over to "hang out" on April 2, 2012. One of those friends was Brian Panebianco, and another was Cory Jarock; the two men had not met before that night.

Panebianco is on trial this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court for the manslaughter of Jarock, who died of hypothermia after the April 2 party.

While she could not provide a specific timeline, Jensen said that everybody else was already there when Jarock arrived in the late evening with 15 beers. The group shared the beers, Jensen said.

When the beers were all gone, Jensen found a key to her father's locked bedroom and found a bottle of vodka, which she gave to her friends.

Some time later, Jensen was in her bedroom when her friend Emma Cain came in to tell her that Jarock was passing out. Jensen said she and Cain then went into the living room and asked Jarock to leave.

Defense counsel Greg Sawchuk later asked Jensen if they first asked for Panebianco's help in getting Jarock to leave, but Jensen insisted they didn't.

Jarock did not leave when the women asked him to, instead swearing at them and grabbing Cain's backside, Jensen testified.

Panebianco then approached Jarock, Jensen continued, grabbed him by the throat, punched him in the face and dragged him out of the house.

Panebianco came back inside, grabbed Jarock's jacket and shoes, and put them outside with Jarock.

Jensen also testified that Panebianco came back inside with money he said he'd taken from Jarock.

The three sat in the living room for about half an hour, and they could hear Jarock speaking outside. Then Panebianco left, and Jensen said that he prodded Jarock with a stick on his way past.

About 15 minutes later Cain left, and Jensen locked the door, turned off the lights and went to bed.

When asked by prosecutor Lynal Doerksen why she did not call police, Jensen said she figured Jarock would wake up and walk home.

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