A speedboat

More delays for trial verdict

The man accused of operating a speedboat recklessly on Shuswap Lake in 2010, striking a houseboat and killing its driver

The man accused of operating a speedboat recklessly on Shuswap Lake in 2010, striking a houseboat and killing its driver, will have to wait another month to learn his fate.

Leon Reinbrecht is charged with criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

He was charged after a July 3, 2010, crash on Magna Bay that took the life of houseboat driver Ken Brown.

Nearly five years later, his trial began in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops.

Multiple witnesses testified about having seen a speedboat being driven erratically on the busy lake in the moments leading up to the nighttime crash, which followed a post-Canada Day fireworks display.

Defence lawyers poked holes in the Crown case by repeatedly focusing their questioning on whether the houseboat was properly lit. Police admitted in court they failed to check to determine if one of the houseboat’s lighting systems was functioning.

An expert witness for the defence testified the lighting system was not working at the time of the crash.

He also raised multiple questions about the police investigation into the incident. At one point during the trial, a police investigator contacted the expert witness’ employer, the Canadian Coast Guard, in an apparent attempt to stop him from testifying.

Toxicology reports showed Brown was impaired at the time of his death. The Crown put forward no evidence about whether Reinbrecht was intoxicated, but a witness who was on the speedboat at the time of the crash said Reinbrecht had been drinking.

In his closing argument in June, defence lawyer Joe Doyle compared Brown to a driver on a highway without headlights.

“This is running into an unlit vessel that’s moving, that should have had its lights on,” Doyle said.

“He [Brown] shouldn’t have been out there.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan had been slated to deliver her verdict on Wednesday, but that has now been pushed back to Oct. 21.

 

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