The trial of a man charged with a knifepoint robbery at the Circle K in 2020 began in Yellowknife Territorial Court on Thursday.

Crown prosecutor Brendan Green called Devon Larabie’s co-accused in the robbery, Maiya Klengenberg, 20, as his first witness.

However, Klengenberg was a no-show and Judge Donovan Molloy issued a warrant for her arrest.

Appearing via video link, RCMP officer Cpl. Frederic LeClerc testified that on March 17, 2020, he executed a search warrant at Larabie’s apartment at Lanky Court, which LeClerc estimated was a two-minute walk from the Circle K convenience store on Forrest Drive, the scene of the crime.

At 8:18 p.m. LeClerc entered the apartment, arrested Larabie and Klengenberg and took them both to the Yellowknife detachment.

Next, RCMP officer Alex Fanning appeared in the court along with a brown paper bag containing items seized from Larabie’s apartment that the police suspected were connected with the robbery.

One by one, Fanning held up each exhibit, including two packages of cigarettes, a black neck warmer/balaclava and a serrated kitchen knife.

Green then played four surveillance tapes from Circle K, each from a different angle.

Without audio, the clips showed a male and female suspect walking around the store, then the male suspect approached the counter.

He then placed the knife on the counter and appeared to exchange words with the cashier. That resulted in the cashier opening the till and handing over money and cigarettes.

Within the hour, Klengenberg entered the courtroom under police custody and with a support person in tow.

The 20-year-old wore sweatpants with a cropped singlet under a hooded sweatshirt, her hair in two messy braids.

At the start of questioning, she offered vague answers, her delivery soft and slow.

What was the nature of her relationship with Larabie?

“Friends” she replied.

Was she living with him at that time?

“It depends,” she said.

Green replayed segments of the Circle K video clips, and Klengenberg said it was Larabie’s idea to rob the convenience store.

She testified that he spent the proceeds of the crime on drugs — crack, specifically, the courtroom heard later.

Wearing prison-issued white sneakers, sweatpants and green shirt in the courtroom on Thursday, Larabie, 29, appeared to have added bulk to his frame since his arrest and now sports a fresh Mohawk with a ponytail sitting atop his head. He sat with his legs apart and hands clasped in front, and appeared hyperfocused on the proceedings.

Before the robbery, Klengenberg had been drinking with Larabie and one other person. She admitted she went “overboard” with her drinking that day.

Tears began to stream down her face as Green asked what she knew of Larabie disposing of clothes in a dumpster, as well as the pink jacket she was seen wearing on video, which she said was now missing.

Defence lawyer Scott Cowan established in cross-examination a picture of the events leading to the crime.

Referring to a transcript of what Klengenberg told the RCMP after her arrest, he said Larabie, Klengenberg and another person shared a 26-oz of hard liquor and up to eight mickeys.

Klengenberg admitted to Cowan that she was probably the most intoxicated.

That’s when Larabie started having “crazy ideas” to rob someone that resulted in the robbery of Circle K, according to Klengenberg.

The court adjourned for lunch with the witness remaining in custody until she finished testifying that afternoon.

The trail is expected to conclude Friday.

Larabie is also facing charges for the second-degree murder of Breanna Menacho, 22, which occurred while he was out on bail for robbery. That judge-only murder trial is scheduled to start in September.

SEE: Accused elects judge-only trial in Yellowknife murder case

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