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'We thought of each other as brothers': Friend of victim testifies at Calgary murder trial

Justice sought in slaying of 18-year-old
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A friend of an 18-year-old who was pepper sprayed, stabbed and beaten at a southeast basketball court in September testified Monday at the trial for one of two teenage brothers charged in the killing.

The pair are accused in the death of Danillo Canales Glenn on Sept. 5, 2023, Calgary's 13th homicide victim that year.

Tanner DeGroot, 18, testified he'd known Canales Glenn since middle school and had just celebrated graduation with his friend that summer.

"We thought of each other as brothers instead of friends," he told the court.

DeGroot says he met up with Canales Glenn mid-afternoon and grabbed a bite to eat before they met up with another friend Caden Langdon, who testified last week, to play basketball.

He says there was a group of about 10 younger kids, between eight and 12 years old, also playing when the attack happened.

"Can you tell us what occurred?" Crown prosecutor Vicki Faulkner asked him.

"The murder of my friend Danillo Canales Glenn occurred," he said firmly, looking directly at the accused who looked down at this lap.

DeGroot said he and his friends had only been playing ball for around 30 minutes when two people approached them and were "eyeballing Danillo" in a "suspicious way."

He says his friend said, "what are you looking at?" and said the pair charged into the court.

DeGroot said he tried to deescalate the situation but he and Langdon fled after the bear spray went off and said he lost his glasses when he ran away.

He said Canales Glenn tried to fight back but was stabbed and then the attackers fled.

DeGroot said he called 911 and tried to save his friend's life.

Prior to the testimony, Justice Eleanor J. Funk warned the gallery that no glaring or staring at the witness would be tolerated.

"This is a serious place and a somber place and I expect everyone to be appropriately behaved," she warned, citing previous court hearings where some of the people in the courtroom who support the two brothers accused were disruptive.

The 17-year-old on trial was 16 at the time and can't be named due to provisions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

His brother was 18 years old at the time and is facing a separate trial but can't be identified because doing so would identify his sibling.

The trial is scheduled to run until June 28.

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