Oct 22, 2015 - RICHARD SUTER'S WIFE SAYS HE WAS NOT DRUNK WHEN HE DROVE INTO RESTAURANT [Geo Mounsef]

 

Gayska and Richard Suter listen while lawyer Dino Bottos speaks to the media outside of Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton on June 5 after Suter pleaded guilty to the charge of refusing to provide a breath sample related to the death of Geo Mounsef

Gayska Suter supported her man Thursday, testifying her husband was not drunk when he drove into a restaurant patio and killed a young boy and it was just an accident.

The retired teacher told a sentencing hearing for Richard Suter that her spouse of 44 years would never drink and drive and pointed out that they had both been badly injured in a crash in 1976 caused by a drunk driver.

“I would never be in a car with a man who was so impaired. That would never happen,” said the 64-year-old, who was emotional and tearful during her testimony.

She also told court there had not been any booze in her husband’s SUV at the time and adamantly denied suggestions that she had removed some liquor bottles from it.

“I can’t believe anybody would even say that,” she said.

The mother of two and grandmother of four described the aftermath of the deadly May 19, 2013, collision as being like a “war zone” with people “yelling and screaming” and calling her husband a “stupid f...ing old drunk.”

She also testified that it was “terrifying” to watch her husband being “yanked” out of the SUV, dragged across the parking lot and viciously kicked by two men.

Gayska also spoke of the “tremendous fear” her family has been living with since her husband had his thumb chopped off during a Jan. 22 abduction from their home.

“Talk about a nightmare,” she said, adding she was also attacked in a parking lot in August 2014 by a man in a balaclava who “pounded me as hard as he could,” breaking her nose and knocking out one tooth and part of another.

She ended her testimony by reading out a written statement in which she addressed the victim’s family, some of whom walked out of the courtroom before she began.

“Please understand that the nightmare of that day was caused by an accident,” she said. “I pray the family of Geo will understand that his death was caused, not by an impaired driver, but by an imperfect, yet loving man who made a terrible mistake. One that will haunt him and his family for a lifetime.”

On Wednesday, Richard Suter also testified he was not impaired and said he had accidentally stepped on the gas pedal while distracted by bickering with his wife.

Suter, 65, earlier pleaded guilty to refusing to provide a breath sample where death ensued, in connection with the 7:37 p.m. collision at Ric’s Grill, 23 Avenue and Rabbit Hill Road, that took the life of two-year-old Geo Mounsef.

According to agreed facts, Suter’s Acura SUV went over the curb, through a glass barrier and into the table where the victim was sitting with his parents and baby brother.

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.

Suter told police he had two shots of vodka in the afternoon and a pint of beer about an hour before the crash.

Source: Edmonton Sun


 

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