Trial delays spark challenge

Fatal boat crash: Leon Reinbrecht’s defence says client’s rights breached.

  • Dec. 9, 2015 2:00 p.m.
A view of the houseboat which was driven by Ken Brown with the speedboat driven by Leon Reinbrecht embedded inside. Brown was killed in the collision.

A view of the houseboat which was driven by Ken Brown with the speedboat driven by Leon Reinbrecht embedded inside. Brown was killed in the collision.

Lawyers are set to argue in March whether delays by the Crown should result in acquittal of a boater found guilty following a deadly crash on Shuswap Lake.

The defence already filed an application arguing Crown delays breached the Charter rights to a fair trial for Leon Reinbrecht.

March 2 and March 3 have been set aside to hear arguments on that challenge.

In October, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan found Reinbrecht guilty of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

On July 3, 2010, Reinbrecht’s speedboat on Shuswap Lake ran nearly head first into a houseboat piloted by Ken Brown, killing Brown and injuring a number of passengers.

Donegan found Reinbrecht was travelling too fast and recklessly in the moments before he struck the houseboat in the dark.

It took 17 months for charges to be laid against Reinbrecht.

During the course of the trial, court heard investigators wanted to return to Magna Bay at the same time of year to understand the lighting conditions at the time of the collision.

After charges were laid in December 2011, a number of potential trial dates came and went before lawyers went to court in January of this year.

But, at the last minute, Reinbrecht switched lawyers and the trial was pushed back another month.

There were also several delays during the trial itself.

– Cam Fortems, Kamloops This Week

Salmon Arm Observer

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