Basketball court murder trial hears Calgary teens headed to park 'to do violence'

Danillo Canales Glenn, 18, was fatally stabbed last September at a southeast basketball court. ( - image credit)

A Calgary teenager accused of murdering a recent high school graduate who was playing basketball with friends on a warm summer evening, headed to the park the night of the killing "to do violence" with his brother, according to the Crown's opening statement.

The second-degree murder trial for the teen began Tuesday.

The boy and his brother are accused of pepper spraying and then fatally stabbing Danillo Canales Glenn, 18, last September.

The accused killer was 16 years old at the time of Canales Glenn's death, so his identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

His brother, who was 18 years old at the time of the killing, faces the same charge but will go on trial separately. He also cannot be named because doing so would identify his younger brother.

The younger brother's trial got underway with an opening statement from prosecutor Vicki Faulkner.

'What are you looking at?'

On the night of Sept. 5, 2023, Canales Glenn and two friends were playing basketball at the Copperfield Mahogany Community Centre outdoor rink, which had two sets of nets set up along the boards.

Although there is no publication ban in place, CBC News is identifying the friends only by their first names — Caden and Tanner — as they were underage at the time of the killing.

The older boys played alongside a group of younger kids who were around nine years old, according to Caden's testimony Tuesday.

Caden testified that about 30 minutes after arriving at the basketball court, he and his friends noticed two boys on the other side of the rink.

The two boys had their hoodies pulled over their heads.

Canales Glenn said to the pair of teens, "what are you looking at" or "what's up," according to Caden.

'At the mercy of the two'

That's when the two boys jumped over the boards into the space where the teens were playing ball.

One of the assailants pulled pepper spray out of his bag and sprayed Canales Glenn in the face.

"Danillo, who had just been sprayed in the face, was at the mercy of the two," said Faulkner in her opening statement.

One of the attackers pulled out a knife, though Faulkner said it's not known which brother.

"Danillo was trying to defend himself from the two, who were continuing the attack," said Faulkner.

Friends try 'desperately' to save life

The attackers fled, and Canales Glenn's friends rushed to his side.

The victim was gasping and bleeding profusely.

While one friend called 911, the other was "trying desperately to save his friend's life."

They boys tried to stop Canales Glenn's bleeding and they performed CPR on him when he stopped breathing.

Despite their efforts, Canales Glenn died at the hospital.

DNA evidence

Court heard he suffered a number of stab wounds, including to his heart and lung.

Faulkner told Court of King's Bench Justice Eleanor Funk that a sneaker was left at the scene.

The shoe did not belong to the victim but forensic testing came back showing the younger brother's DNA was found on three different spots.

As part of her opening statement, Faulkner also played security camera footage from several homes along Copperstone Boulevard S.E., which leads up to the park where the teens had been playing.

It shows the two brothers on bicycles just before and after the attack on Canales Glenn.

Sweatshirt tested for pepper spray

As they ride away from the scene, the other brother has his hands at his eyes.

Forensic testing done on a sweatshirt seized from the brothers' home showed pepper spray was present on the clothing, which appears to match what one of the brothers was wearing in the security camera footage.

Before calling her first witness, Faulkner told the judge that in previous court hearings, some of the people in the courtroom to support the two brothers were disruptive to the proceedings.

There were people laughing, snickering, glaring, loudly yawning and making noise as they entered and exited the courtroom.

"They were disruptive to all proceedings," said Faulkner.

'No commentary from the gallery'

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner told Justice Funk that he was aware of the previous issue.

"I've addressed it as best I can," said Hepner.

Funk issued her own warning to those in the gallery.

"Court is a serious place and it's a very solemn place," said Funk. "[The youth] stands charged with one of the most serious offences in the Criminal Code, there will be no commentary from the gallery."

"I will not hesitate to ask anyone to leave and to not return … we all need to take our jobs seriously."