A jury trial for a Yellowknife man charged with aggravated assault began on Tuesday. 

It’s related to an incident that took place in 2018 in Colville Lake, N.W.T. that left a Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. man quadriplegic.

The accused, 51-year-old Kurt Stewart, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution alleges that Stewart  picked up and threw Eddie Cooke Jr. to the floor, and he never got up again.

Because of the injury, Cooke can only slightly move his arm, and he can’t move his legs.

Cooke was in court in a wheelchair to testify on Tuesday. He told the court he attended a wedding that day and then went to a social event after, which Stewart also attended. 

Cooke said he remembers blacking out at the social event and waking up on the floor. He tried to move, but couldn’t lift himself up.

After the injury, Cooke was transported to Stanton Hospital in Yellowknife and then to another hospital in Alberta.

Cooke said he currently lives in an assisted living facility in Yellowknife. 

According to an agreed statement of facts, Cooke suffered from a spinal cord injury from the incident. 

One of his vertebrae became misaligned, and another one was fractured.

The jury trial is expected to continue this week. 

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