Oct 20, 2015 - MOM OF TWO-YEAR-OLD BOY KILLED IN EDMONTON PATIO CRASH PASSES BITTERNESS ON TO KILLER DRIVER DURING VICTIM IMPACT COURT ADDRESS [Geo Mounsef]


It was an emotional, tear-filled morning as victim impact statements were read out at the sentencing for a city man who killed a boy when he drove into a restaurant patio.

Sage Morin, the mom of two-year-old victim Geo Mounsef, stared directly at Richard Suter as she recalled sensing danger as she saw him drive up to the restaurant and spoke of his actions sending her to the “depths of hell.”

She angrily criticized Suter for not moving his SUV after having hit Geo and left him pinned underneath.

“You didn’t even have the decency to reverse your vehicle off of his tiny little body,” she said.

Morin eloquently recalled the joy of having her first-born son and all the milestones he reached in his short life and noted that all she now has left are the memories.

She also spoke of suffering deep depression, trying to kill herself and splitting up with Geo’s father, George Mounsef, but said she has been able to heal through her aboriginal cultural ceremonial traditions.

Morin ended her statement by telling Suter to look at himself and saying she is now giving up all her bitterness and passing it on to him.

“This is your cross to bear,” she said.

Many people in the standing-room-only courtroom were crying, including reporters and a female sheriff, as the victim impact statements were being read out and tissues were being passed around.

Natasha Prasad, a former server at Ric’s Grill who was left with PTSD after having been injured in the May 19, 2013, collision, sobbed throughout her statement.

Prasad, who had been bringing drinks to the Mounsef family at the time, told court of still suffering knee pain, exhaustion and trauma, including “multiple meltdowns,” from the “horrific incident” and spoke of how it has devastated every facet of her life.

She also spoke of having a recurring nightmare where “kids keep popping up on the road as we drive.”

Geo’s grandmother, Ruth Cardinal de Ubiera, told court of how “heartbreaking” it was to watch her baby, Sage Morin, “lose her baby” and she spoke to Suter about how he will have to come to terms with what he did. “I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine,” she said.

The grandmother ended her victim impact statement by singing a powerful song, which she said came from Geo when he appeared in a dream she had, and it was about letters from him to all of his loved ones. The chorus was “signed with love, forever true.”

Suter, 64, is having a five-day sentencing hearing after having pleaded guilty to refusing to provide a breath sample where death ensued, in connection with Geo’s tragic death at Ric’s Grill at 23 Avenue and Rabbit Hill Road.

According to agreed facts, the victim’s family, most witnesses and police believed Suter was drunk at the time.

At a preliminary hearing, Morin testified that Suter was “heavily intoxicated” and said he couldn’t stand up and was “wobbling all over” before trying to run away.

Morin also testified that Suter “could not even walk a straight line” before she pushed him to the ground and slapped him while shouting, “You killed my baby.”

George Mounsef testified at the preliminary that he shouted at Suter and called him a “maniac” before learning that Geo was trapped under the SUV. He then banged on the vehicle and urged Suter to move it.

Mounsef also testified that Suter was stumbling and he could smell alcohol from him as he fell to the ground.

Witness Curtis Clement testified at the preliminary that he pulled a “shocked” Suter from the SUV and onto the ground and said Suter appeared drunk due to his disheveled clothes, bloodshot eyes and incoherent speech.

Clement said he did not smell alcohol on Suter’s breath as did another witness who heard Suter say, “I hit the wrong pedal” when someone asked if he was drunk following the 7:37 p.m. collision.

The first police officer on scene testified he believed Suter was impaired because he was unsteady on his feet and staggering, he had a moderate smell of alcohol on his breath and he was slurring his words “pretty heavily.”

Suter later told police he had two shots of vodka with orange juice and a pint of beer in the hours before.

After being told that Geo had died, Suter said, “I want to call God” and “How did this happen?” and stated he had done a “heinous crime” and felt “sick to his stomach.”

According to the agreed facts, Suter and his wife drove to Ric’s Grill after leaving Chili’s Texas Grill due to their food coming late. Chili’s staff have said Suter had ordered a pint of beer and he appeared to be sober.

Around 7:35 p.m., Suter pulled into a handicapped parking stall adjacent to the Ric’s Grill patio table where the Mounsef family was seated. He stopped his Acura SUV momentarily and then placed his foot on the accelerator, sending the vehicle rapidly through the stall, over the curb, through a glass barrier and into the Mounsef table.

Suter drove the Acura directly over Geo, both dragging him under the SUV and pinning him against the outer wall of the restaurant. The vehicle stopped against the outer wall with Geo trapped underneath.

Source: Edmonton Sun


 

Last updated on: 2015-10-30 | Link to this post