More than two years after a deadly collision in Beaumont took the lives of three young men, the man charged in the case has pleaded not guilty to all nine charges.

Johnathan Pratt’s trial began Monday in Wetaskiwin. Pratt is charged with three counts each of manslaughter, driving over the legal limit causing death, and impaired driving causing death in the November 2011 collision that killed Bradley Arsenault, 18, Kole Novak, 18, and Thaddeus Lake, 22.

Close to two dozen family members and supporters were in court for the first day of the trial.

Sheri Arsenault, Bradley’s mother, said hearing the plea felt like being stabbed nine times.

“It hurt so much,” she added.

“That was painful just to see ‘not guilty, not guilty’ nine times.”

“It’s pretty hollow. Where’s the honesty in anything anymore?”

Zane Novak, Kole’s father, described the pleas as “morally sickening.”

“’Not guilty, not guilty’ nine times for three dead boys. Sickening.”

Pratt appeared in court on Monday. He was dressed in a grey suit with a striped tie. His hair was gelled back and he appeared calm and expressionless.

“Even though it’s not shown, and it’s not been discussed, I think that he really feels bad about it, obviously,” said Timothy Dunlap, the accused’s lawyer.

“To be involved in something like this must be a terrible thing.”

On Monday morning, the Crown and Defence went over issues relating to witnesses and disclosure.

Dunlap made an application to have the charges thrown out because some police audio recordings were destroyed two years following the collision. He says no one will ever know what kind of evidence may have been on those recordings.

Meanwhile, loved ones of the victims say they will continue to attend the trial.

Source: Global News Edmonton


Last updated on: 2014-04-28 | Link to this post