A man facing charges in a crash that killed four Grande Prairie football players and seriously injured another is expected to plead guilty to some charges and be sentenced in February.

Brenden Holubowich, 22, was scheduled to go trial in Grande Prairie late next year on numerous charges related to the 2011 crash that killed Vincent Stover, 16, Walter Borden-Wilkins, 15, Tanner Hildebrand, 15, and Matthew Deller, 16, and left 16-year-old Zachary Judd clinging to life.

Instead, Crown prosecutor Jason Neustaeter said ongoing discussions between the defence and Crown have led to a plea agreement that is expected to see Holubowich plead guilty to some charges.

The plea agreement is expected to be heard by the court in Grande Prairie on Feb. 22. There is another court date scheduled for Jan. 14, to confirm that everything is ready to proceed on the February date.

The trial dates that had been reserved to hear the case in December 2013 have been cancelled.

Neustaeter said the plea and sentencing is expected to take place on Feb. 22, including putting the facts of case before the court, reading victim impact statements. Holubowich will also have a chance to speak during those proceedings if he wishes, Neustaeter said.

Holubowich currently faces four counts of dangerous driving causing death, four counts of impaired driving causing death, and one count each of impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, and failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

Neustaeter said he would not speak about the details of the plea agreement until it is heard in court.

Stover’s grandmother, Sheila Wilson, said news of a plea agreement is both welcome and difficult. She said she worries that the most serious charges will be dropped.

“I’m glad it’s moving ahead and will be resolved,” she said.

The deadly collision happened on Oct. 22, 2011, as the five Grande Prairie Composite High School students were driving home from a party. Their car was hit by a pickup truck on a darkened industrial road south of the community. Judd, the lone survivor, was in a coma for about 11 days after the crash.

Neustaeter said he knows the plea agreement may be difficult for some relatives and friends of those killed.

“I think in time they’ll appreciate that he’s actually pleading guilty to some charges,” he said. “I don’t think any (sentence) would be enough.”


Source: The Edmonton Journal


Last updated on: 2013-02-25 | Link to this post