Gentles trial underway

Family and friends of Rayel MacDonald and Alysha Mullett were in Williams Lake Supreme Court Monday morning.

  • Nov. 24, 2014 1:00 p.m.

Family and friends of Rayel MacDonald and Alysha Mullett were in Williams Lake Supreme Court Monday morning to witness the start of the trial against Martin William Michael Gentles.

Tensions in the courtroom were high as the accused, now 30, formally entered pleas of not guilty to seven charges in relation to the incident April 22, 2012 in which TRU nursing students MacDonald and Mullett were struck by a vehicle at the bottom of Carson Drive at about 2:15 a.m.

MacDonald died as a result of her injuries while Mullett suffered serious bodily harm.

The young women, both 20 at the time, had just left the annual Indoor Rodeo Barn Dance and were with a large group of friends when they were hit.

Dressed in black pants and a striped dress shirt and tie Monday, Gentles sat quietly in the courtroom just a few blocks away from where the tragedy occurred, as Crown counsel Julie Dufour outlined the case against him.

During her opening statement, Dufour told the court Gentles agreed to some statement of facts, including that he was driving the vehicle the night in question.

Crown is alleging Gentles was impaired by alcohol and driving down Carson Drive when he hit the pedestrians. Gentles was pulled over a short while later by then Staff Sgt. Ken Brissard who was patrolling and noticed the vehicle “fish-tailing” and driving too fast for the area before he actually knew of the unfolding emergency on Carson Drive.

Gentles is charged with operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner causing the death of MacDonald and bodily harm of Mullett, operating of a motor vehicle while impaired causing death and bodily harm, impaired driving causing death and bodily harm and failing to stay at the scene of an accident.

Several police and civilian witnesses, many of whom were with the women following the barn dance, are expected to take the stand over the next three weeks before Justice John D. Truscott.

Defence lawyer Ken Walker is representing Gentles.

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

Just Posted

(File photo)
High-visibility arrest in Williams Lake nets BB gun, mistaken for assault rifle

RCMP thought the man was carrying an M16 assault-style rifle

LETTER: Improvements needed at Scout Island

The City can do better managing their responsibilities

More than 14,800 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at clinics in Williams Lake, Alexis Creek, Big Lake, Horsefly, West Chilcotin, 100 Mile House and Clinton as of Friday, May 7. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
6,000-plus people vaccinated for COVID-19 in Williams Lake, and in 100 Mile House

Interior Health Authority provide the numbers up to May 7, 2021

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Reasonable decision making can go a long way

We’re all at fault, but today I’ll pick on politicians

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Be thankful for volunteers

It amazes me just how much people do to make the Cariboo Chilcotin region a better place for all

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

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

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read