Date set for Crown’s appeal of Gentles’ acquittal

Crown prosecutors in B.C. have a trial date for their appeal over the acquittal of a Williams Lake man in the death of Rayel MacDonald.

Crown prosecutors in B.C. have a trial date for their appeal over the acquittal of a Williams Lake man in the death of 20-year-old Rayel MacDonald in April 2012.

The appeal will be heard in Vancouver on Jan. 25, 2016 by a panel of three judges.

Crown is appealing Martin Gentles’ acquittal on impaired driving causing death, driving over .08 causing an accident resulting in death, impaired driving causing bodily harm and driving over .08 causing an accident resulting in bodily harm.

The appeal is on the basis that the trial judge erred in law by failing to apply the correct legal standard for causation and that the trial judge erred by failing to give the correct legal effect to the facts as found by the trial judge, confirmed Gordon S. Comer, legal counsel with the Criminal Justice Branch.

In his acquittal of Gentles in February 2015, BC Supreme Court Justice John D. Truscott said on the limited evidence provided prior to the point of the collision he was not able to find that Gentles was guilty of dangerous driving causing death or causing bodily harm beyond any reasonable doubt which is required in criminal law.

He did rule beyond a reasonable doubt that Gentles was impaired by alcohol as he drove down Carson Drive toward the collision, but said the law required him to find that it was the effect of his impairment on Gentles’ driving that caused death and bodily harm.

Gentles was also found guilty of failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

He received an eight-month conditional sentence, one-year probation, a one-year driving prohibition and a $1,500 fine.

On Wednesday, Rayel’s mother Andrea MacDonald said the family would not be attending the appeal in Vancouver.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read