St-Hilaire, now 42, pleaded not guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and failing to remain at the scene.
He entered a guilty plea at Monday’s arraignment to related charges of obstructing police.
His non-jury trial is scheduled for three weeks.
Court was shown footage from City of Ottawa traffic cameras showing Nevin, 39, cycling along the shoulder as he crosses the intersection of Gilligan and Leitrim Road around 6 a.m. that day.St-Hilaire’s white Ford F-250 is then seen passing through the same intersection moments before the fatal crash, which was not captured on camera.
Adam Cybanski, a former military helicopter pilot who now analyzes collision footage to determine vehicle velocity, told court from his calculations, “It looks very much like the (truck) was going close to 80 km/h.”
On Monday, Crown attorneys Lisa Miles and Julian Daller called the trial’s first civilian witnesses, including an off-duty paramedic, Christian Lagare, who testified he spotted Nevin riding eastbound on the shoulder of Leitrim Road “near where people watch airplanes.”
Moments later, another motorist, Alison Reaume, testified she saw the white Ford truck running the red light at Albion Road as it drove through the intersection at a high speed.
Nevin’s body lay in the ditch outside a home on Leitrim Road, where neighbours Randy May and Paul Brazeau each testified they ran to the man’s aid and called 911.
Ottawa police Const. Lisa Grison testified she was already in her cruiser nearby when she was dispatched at 6:03 a.m. to a collision scene at 2570 Leitrim Road.
She saw the cyclist in the ditch and went to retrieve her defibrillator as first responders arrived, and she turned her attention to keeping bystanders back from the scene.
As it turned out, she had already seen the cyclist twice that morning while driving to a call for a house alarm.
“He was visible to me, so much so that he stood out on the way to the call and on the way back,” she testified.
Forensic identification officer Sgt. Jim Killeen showed court photos of the crash site, where Nevin’s shoes and hat were strewn across the road, his bicycle mangled in the ditch.
He told Justice Catherine Aitken the front-end damage on St-Hilaire’s truck was consistent with that of a collision with a bicycle.
St-Hilaire was arrested nine days after the fatal crash.
Nevin’s father, Kerry Nevin, expressed his dismay that court would not hear details of the obstruction charge, following St-Hilaire’s guilty plea.
Nevin has been an outspoken critic of the courts while awaiting the long-delayed trial, originally scheduled for December 2016. The trial suffered a scheduling setback when St-Hilaire’s lawyer, Trevor Brown, was appointed an Ontario Court Justice.
Criminal defence lawyer Eric Granger of Greenspon Granger Hill now represents St-Hilaire, who remains on bail during trial. He was seated on one side of the courtroom, dressed in a dark suit, while Nevin’s family and a group of supporters sat across the aisle.
The Crown said it intends to call a number of witnesses and evidence, including a pathology expert, a collision reconstruction, as well as police surveillance of St-Hilaire as he “took steps,” the Crown said, to conceal the damage to his truck.
The trial continues.
Source: Ottawa Sun