Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, May 11, 2015

Getting Away With Vehicular Homicide

"How could a dozen witnesses, only three of which (sic) are OPP officers, somehow be so motivated against a perfect stranger that they would be prepared to commit perjury and fabricate evidence about her [the accused at trial] impaired and dangerous operation of her motor vehicle?"
Crown prosecutors

"No amount of window-dressing and testimonial 'do overs' can cover up one simple, glaring fault in the Crown's case -- P.C. Kelly has been revealed as the biased, incompetent, incredible and unreliable investigator that he truly is."
Lawyers for the defence
Christy Natsis has pleaded not guilty to impaired driving causing death, driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit, and dangerous driving.   Mike Carroccetto / The Ottawa Citizen
Money can get you almost anything; certainly it can enable you to hire seasoned trial lawyers who will use every trick in the lawbooks to ensure their client's privilege as an individual capable of paying hefty legal fees will ensure she not face the penalty resulting from driving while intoxicated and causing the death of another human being in the process.

The tediously long, drawn-out affair that characterizes the trial of Pembroke dentist Christy Natsis has resumed after a long delay in proceedings. She is on trial for impaired driving causing death, and her legal team insists the case should be dismissed, citing what they characterize as biased and incompetent evidence bungled by provincial police who laid charges against their client.

So persuasive have they been that the trial judge agreed to set aside critical evidence assembled by the Ontario Provincial Police, including readings showing her blood-alcohol level was 2-1/2 times the legal limit, on the basis that her charter rights had been violated. Crown prosecutors, bowing to reality, cite numerous witnesses whose accounts of first-hand observation is evidence that a conviction be inevitable.

She did, after all, drive in an inebriated state, a condition observed by witnesses in various places, from the drinking establishment parking lot she left for the highway, to the site where the accident occurred in a crash that killed motorist Bryan Casey on March 31, 2011. Christy Natsis on her lawyers' advice, pleaded not guilty.

But witnesses observed an inebriated Natsis back her SUV into a car at the bar's parking lot in Kanata and a vehicle identified as hers was seen speeding and swerving along the highway leading up to the head-on crash on Highway 17, close to Arnprior. Electronic data from both vehicles confirm that she hadn't slowed down, that Mr. Casey attempted to avoid the crash.

While admitting that Ms. Natsis hit a car in the parking lot of the Crazy Horse Saloon, her legal team insists that the Crown has not succeeded in proving she was alcohol-impaired, let alone that she was the one who caused the fatal crash. They are fiercely critical of the work of the OPP investigators, accusing them of bias and sloppy work.

A server at the bar testified that Ms. Natsis imbibed alcohol there while other highway drivers described an SUV straddling the fog line, crossing the centre line and coming close to crashing into a concrete wall. At the scene of the crash, when a friend driving by stopped, Natsis asked him for a piece of chewing gum, while he noted the odour of alcohol on her breath.

That electronic data gathered by the Crown indicates the inebriated woman wasn't able to maintain a steady speed, didn't remove her foot from the gas pedal before crashing, while her victim had slowed and moved to the right. This woman's deft and morally ambiguous legal team scoffs at all the evidence, insisting that their client be given a clean bill of health to get on with her life after taking that of another human being's.

Her entitlements trump any notion of justice.

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