Driver of 2010 fatal boat crash on Shuswp Lake will have appeal heard in October

Leon Reinbrecht,now 55, crashed his speedboat into a houseboat on Magna Bay on July 3, 2010, killing houseboat operator Ken Brown

  • May. 29, 2018 6:30 a.m.

Kamloops This Week

The driver of a speedboat involved in a fatal nighttime collision with a houseboat on Shuswap Lake nearly eight years ago has had a date for his appeal set, with the hearing scheduled to take place in Kamloops later this year.

Leon Reinbrecht, now 55, was at the helm of his speedboat on the evening of July 3, 2010, on Magna Bay following a post-Canada Day fireworks display.

Reinbrecht was driving recklessly — witnesses described him doing donuts and speeding near shore on busy waters — when his vessel collided with a slow-moving houseboat. Reinbrecht’s speedboat ended up inside the houseboat.

Related: Houseboat crash trial gets underway

Ken Brown, the houseboat’s operator, was killed in the crash. Other passengers on both watercraft suffered a variety of injuries.

At trial, Reinbrecht’s lawyers argued Brown’s houseboat was not properly lit.

Reinbrecht stood trial and was convicted in October 2015. Following a series of lengthy constitutional challenges by his lawyers, he was sentenced in 2016 to three-and-a-half years in a federal penitentiary.

Following his trial, Reinbrecht’s lawyers argued his conviction should be quashed given the lengthy delays in his case. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan was not convinced, but defence lawyer Joe Doyle filed an appeal on Reinbrecht’s behalf within four days of the decision. The appeal argues Donegan erred when she ruled Reinbrecht’s Charter rights were not breached by delays in prosecution and the trial itself.

It took 17 months for charges to be brought against Reinbrecht, then another 46 months to obtain a conviction.

Reinbrecht’s appeal is scheduled to take place in front of a three-judge B.C. Court of Appeal panel at the Kamloops Law Courts on Oct. 30.

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