Trial waits another year

Shocking image: A speedboat sits embedded inside a houseboat, which resulted in the death of one person and injuries to eight others in July 2010. - Observer file photo
Shocking image: A speedboat sits embedded inside a houseboat, which resulted in the death of one person and injuries to eight others in July 2010.
— image credit: Observer file photo

It will be many months before the court case involving a fatal boat crash on Shuswap Lake goes to trial.

On Monday, Feb. 3 in Kamloops court, a date nearly a year away was set for the trial of Leon Michael Reinbrecht of Celista, who stands charged with criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. The charges were laid following a crash in Magna Bay on July 3, 2010 that left an 18-foot Campion Runabout speedboat  driven by Reinbrecht fully embedded inside the cabin of a houseboat. The crash killed 53-year-old Kenneth William (Kenny) Brown of Chase, owner and operator of the houseboat, and sent eight other people to hospital.

Although a trial date was initially set for September 2013, that date has now been moved to Feb. 2, 2015 in BC Supreme Court in Kamloops. It will be a jury trial and court time has been set aside for six weeks. The September date was pushed back to January 2014 in order for the defendant to try to secure legal aid funding. Then, in a court appearance on Nov. 26 in Kamloops, Reinbrecht’s lawyer indicated he would no longer be the defence counsel.

Although a start date of Jan. 6, 2014 had been set previously for the trial, the case returned to the courts on Jan. 20. The purpose was to accommodate the appearance of a new defence lawyer.

Crown counsel Don Mann said a pretrial conference will be held between now and the trial date, and jury selection will take place in the first day or two of the trial.

“Sometimes it takes that long to schedule a matter, especially of this length,” he said of the February 2015 date.

Reinbrecht, in his early fifties, was charged in December 2011 following a 17-month investigation carried out by the Chase RCMP detachment with the assistance of investigators from Transport Canada and the BC Coroners Service.


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