Noah Poisson, 22, is charged with impaired driving causing the death Parker Pautsch, 19, of Hawkestone, who was killed on a rural road in Oro on Aug. 15, 2016.
His trial by judge alone is completed and closing arguments were set to begin Friday when his lawyer, Leo Kinahan, called for an acquittal.In court Kinahan pointed out the formal indictment states Poisson was impaired “by drugs and alcohol.” He claims the Crown has only shown evidence that Poisson was impaired by alcohol — not drugs — and therefore the entire case must be thrown out.
“You must acquit,” Kinahan told Justice Chris de Sa.
During the trial court heard details of the bizarre crash where Poisson’s truck somehow left the road, went air-born, tumbled down a ditch, crossed over a creek, then flipped and rolled several times before coming to rest in a field around 11 p.m.Pautsch was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the truck, which then landed on top of him, court heard.
The first witness on the scene testified Poisson smelled of alcohol and was in a panicked state as he called out for his friend. Then Poisson borrowed his cell phone to call his father, saying, “Dad, I really f—d up. I had an accident.”
An expert with the Centre of Forensic Sciences testified cocaine in Poisson’s blood was already broken down and was therefore “inactive” and could not have caused impairment at the time of the crash.However, Poissons’ blood tests showed his blood-alcohol concentration was more than twice the legal limit.
Kinahan insists showing evidence of impairment by alcohol is not enough, because of the wording on the indictment.
“It doesn’t say ‘either or’ — it says and,” Kinahan said. “The Crown must prove that it was a combination of both drugs and alcohol — not just one.”
Once the trial has ended, Kinahan pointed out, the wording of the indictment can not be amended.
“It’s too late,” he said, with his hands up in the air.
Crown attorney Sarah Tarcza argued as long as she has proven Poisson was impaired, the indictment stands.
The judge will hear further legal arguments on the issue in Newmarket court Feb. 12.
Source: The Wetaskiwin Times