Lawyer argues trial delays should exonerate Reinbrecht

By Tarrah Harvey / James Peters
April 11, 2016 - 5:13pm Updated: April 12, 2016 - 12:27pm

KAMLOOPS — A hearing began today at BC Supreme Court in Kamloops for Leon Reinbrecht, the man convicted in a fatal houseboat crash on Shuswap Lake nearly six years ago. 

The judge heard arguments from the defence alleging the lengthy delays in the trial breached Reinbrecht's rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Defence lawyer Joe Doyle argued that cause Justice Sheri Donegan to overturn Reinbrecht's conviction.

Reinbrecht was behind the wheel of a speedboat late at night after Canada Day celebrations on Shuswap Lake in 2010 when his boat crashed into a houseboat, killing its driver Ken Brown and injuring eight others. 

In October, Reinbrecht was found guilty of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Although Reinbrecht was charged shortly after the crash on Canada Day in 2010, his trial did not begin until February of 2015.
Doyle says the Crown was responsible for dragging the case out, stating that his client wanted to proceed with a preliminary inquiry.

Crown has not yet presented its case regarding the defence allegations.

A conviction for criminal negligence causing death carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

Crown and the defence are expected to make their arguments throughout the week as the hearing continues.

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