Feb 27, 2013 - INTRICACIES PLAYED ROLE IN PLEA DEAL: CROWN (Grande Prairie Warrior's case)

Chris Millsap, defense counsel for Brenden Holubowich, speaks to the media outside Grande Prairie Provincial Court Wednesday.


Outside the courthouse after Brenden Holubowich’s sentencing Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Jason Neustaeter hinted it would have been difficult to prove the young man had been driving impaired.

Holubowich was originally charged with four counts of impaired driving causing death, four counts of operating a vehicle over .08 causing death, four counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and one count each of impaired driving causing bodily harm, operating a motor vehicle over .08 causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm, as well as one count of failure to remain at the scene of an accident in connection with the October 2011 collision.

A two-week trial had been scheduled in the Court of Queen’s Bench for early December 2013.

Many “intricacies” were involved, Neustaeter said, in pinning down what Holubowich did after he left the scene of the accident that night.

“As you’ve read and heard from the agreed statement of facts, he was missing for an hour, or more than an hour. That time is unexplained other than by him,” he said.

“That obviously played a role in whether or not the Crown would have been able to prove those charges.”

Neustaeter said he would have tried to prove some circumstantial evidence, but Holubowich offered a guilty plea to the five charges – out of the 16 he was facing – that the Crown had the best chance of proving.

During the preliminary inquiry for the case in August, Winnipeg-based Patricia Lehmann, forensic alcohol scientist for the RCMP, testified that at the time of the collision, Holubowich’s blood alcohol content was estimated to be between .168 and .195. She used evidence provided by Grande Prairie RCMP. The testimony did not factor in the agreed statement of facts in the case.

“Certainly alcohol was involved and Brenden acknowledged that, but also, keeping in mind the last person who saw Brenden before he made his way onto that roadway had absolutely no concerns with his sobriety,” said defence lawyer Chris Millsap.

“I understand how alcohol was involved here to a degree, but this was not a case of drunk driving or impaired driving. It’s unknown what his blood alcohol concentration was at the time of driving.”

Millsap said the joint submission took a long time to hammer out, and at the end of the day, it is fair.

“It’s fair because if you look at what occurred on this night… you have to try and separate such a tragic result from the actual actions of Mr. Holubowich,” he said.

Millsap said the case is about someone who was driving too fast –151 km/h seconds before hitting the teens’ car and 120 km/h at time of impact.

“We’re dealing with that action,” he said. “It was truly an unexpected accident, his driving pattern caused it, and that’s what he was sentenced on today.”

Source: Daily Herald Tribune


Last updated on: 2013-02-28 | Link to this post