A 20-year-old Winnipeg man responsible for a drunk driving crash that killed a woman waiting at a bus stop urged Manitoba's highest court to find his 6 1/2-year prison sentence "harsh and excessive."

Dakota Smoke appeared before the Manitoba Court of Appeal on Tuesday. He also argued the trial judge didn't properly consider his aboriginal upbringing when deciding his sentence.

The appeals court will deliver its decision at a later date.

Smoke pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death, two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, and fleeing the scene of an accident for the crash on Feb. 15, 2013, that killed 53-year-old Kim Delaurier.

Last October, Judge Rocky Pollack sentenced Smoke to 5 1/2 years in prison for the driving offences and another year for fleeing the scene. Prosecutors had recommended Pollack sentence Smoke to seven years in prison - five years for the driving offences and another two years for fleeing the scene.

Smoke was a novice driver and not allowed to consume any alcohol before driving.

"Mr. Smoke broke the law as soon as he set the car in motion with as little as a milligram of alcohol in his system," Pollack said.

Court heard Smoke had been drinking for several hours when, shortly before 6 a.m., he and five passengers piled into his brother's Chevy Impala.

Witnesses said Smoke drove at speeds in excess of 100 km/h, blew through four red lights and ignored pleas to slow down before smashing into a 2011 Honda CR-V.

The force of the collision sent the Honda careening onto the sidewalk, where it struck Delaurier at a bus stop.

Smoke fled the scene and was arrested two days later at his brother's home.

Source: Sun News


Last updated on: 2014-09-07 | Link to this post