Jun 05, 2015 - RICHARD SUTER, ACCUSED IN DEATH OF GEO MOUNSEF, GUILTY OF REFUSING TO GIVE BREATH SAMPLE

The man accused of killing a toddler while driving impaired pleaded guilty in court Friday morning to refusing to provide a breath sample.

All other charges against Richard Suter, 64, including impaired driving causing death, are expected to be withdrawn in October when a five-day sentencing hearing is scheduled. 

Suter was awaiting trial following a May 2013 crash that killed two-year-old Geo Mounsef.

"It may be too little too late, but at least we're headed in the right direction," said Geo's mother, Sage Morin.

In an agreed statement of facts, Suter approached a parking stall at Ric's Grill at 142nd Street and 23rd Avenue and drove completely through a plate glass divider, striking a table.

The boy was pinned against the wall and killed. His parents and a restaurant server were injured in the collision. 

Following the crash, patrons saw what they deemed to be signs of impairment on part of the accused and a police officer noted the smell of alcohol on Suter.

The police officer demanded he give a breath sample. Suter was taken to the nearest police station where he called a lawyer and then refused provide a breath sample.

He was charged with impaired driving causing death, three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and refusing to give a breath sample.

Lawyer Dino Bottos said the plea shows that the Crown and the defence agree Suter was not impaired when he pressed the wrong pedal and crashed into the patio. 

Suter will offer his side of the story during the sentencing hearing, Bottos said.

He said he hopes that "people out there still with an open mind and a sense of fair play will come to realize Mr. Suter made a terrible mistake, but that mistake was based on human frailty."

However Bottos said Suter knows the Crown will still be looking for a "substantial period of incarceration." 

In January Suter was abducted, beaten and had his thumb cut off by three men posing as police officers.​

One man has been charged in that incident.

Source: CBC News Edmonton


 

Last updated on: 2015-06-15 | Link to this post