Oct 21, 2015 - EDMONTON MAN WHO KILLED GEO MOUNSEF SAYS "I KNEW I HAD DONE SOMETHING AWFUL"

Richard Suter is seen while lawyer Dino Bottos speaks to the media outside of Court of Queen's Bench in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday June 5, 2015 after Suter pleaded guilty to the charge of refusing to provide a breath sample related to the death of Geo Mounsef, 2

The Edmonton man who killed a boy when he drove into a restaurant patio took the witness stand to tell his story on Wednesday.

Richard Alan Suter, 65, is having a five-day sentencing hearing after having pleaded guilty to refusing to provide a breath sample where death ensued, in connection with the tragic May 19, 2013, death of Geo Mounsef at Ric's Grill at 23 Avenue and Rabbit Hill Road.

Suter testified he was not impaired at the time and said he had accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake after noticing his SUV was rolling forward while he was parking.

"I guess I panicked and hit the gas pedal instead of the brake," said Suter, adding he drove into the patio and recalls glass everywhere.

"I was just stunned at that time. I couldn't believe it was happening. It was in slo-mo."

Suter testified he was told there was a child under the SUV and he slowly reversed, then went to get out and was assaulted.

"I was grabbed and thrown to the ground and kicked and kicked," he said, adding he was also slapped in the face and hit in the back of the head.

Suter said he did not resist.

"I knew I had done something terrible," he said. "I knew I had done something awful."

According to agreed facts, Suter and his wife drove to Ric's Grill after having left another restaurant unhappily as a result of their food order coming late. Restaurant staff there have said Suter had ordered a pint of beer and he appeared to be sober.

Around 7:35 p.m., Suter pulled into a 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.

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

At a preliminary hearing, Geo's mother, Sage Morin, testified that Suter couldn't stand up and was "wobbling all over" before trying to run away. She also said Suter "could not even walk a straight line" before she pushed him to the ground and slapped him while shouting, "You killed my baby."

Suter told police he had two shots of vodka with orange juice and a pint of beer in the hours before the 7:37 p.m. crash. After being told 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."

On Tuesday, it was very emotional at the sentencing hearing as 23 victim impact statements were read out.

Morin stared directly at Suter as she recalled sensing danger as she saw him drive up to the patio where her family was sitting and spoke of his actions sending her to the "depths of hell."

She angrily criticized Suter for not moving his SUV after pinning Geo underneath. "You didn't even have the decency to reverse your vehicle off of his tiny little body."

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 ended her statement by saying she is passing all her bitterness on to him. "This is your cross to bear."

George Mounsef, Geo's father, also took aim at Suter.

"To describe the impact that watching my first-born child crushed to death in front of my eyes has had on my life would be impossible. It's completely ruined it," he said.

"Suter, you killed my son and ran over my entire family," he continued. "Do you realize that the last image I have of my son alive is him spitting up mouthfuls of blood before bleeding to death in my arms. That image is burned into my mind for eternity."

Geo's grandmother, Ruth Cardinal de Ubiera, ended her statement by singing a powerful song, which she said came from Geo when he appeared in a dream she had, and was about letters from him to all of his loved ones.

The chorus was "signed with love, forever true."

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

Prasad told court she is still suffering knee pain, exhaustion and trauma, including "multiple meltdowns," from the "horrific incident."


Killer driver Richard Suter also testified Wednesday about having his thumb chopped off in January after being abducted by three men dressed up as police.

Suter told court he was awoken to banging at the front door of his south-side home and said three men "wearing SWAT uniforms" handcuffed him, put him in a vehicle with a bag over his head and drove him to a field.

The father and grandfather testified he was told it was related to the collision at Ric's Grill where he killed a two-year-old boy and said he was made to kneel in the snow and someone "started to cut off my thumb."

Suter told court he either passed out or was knocked out and when he came to, his abductors were gone and said a passerby stopped to help him and called EMS.

He testified the attack has left him and his whole family "more afraid," "very wary" and "fearful all the time."

Meanwhile, a man who was charged in the Jan. 22 abduction has appeared in court and been denied bail.

Steven Gordon Vollrath, 32, is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, possession of a dangerous weapon and impersonating a police officer. He is slated to be back in court on the charges on Friday.

Source: Edmonton Sun


 

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