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Collision case circumstances ‘unusual’

A Red Deer provincial court judge will decide today on unusual circumstances surrounding the court case of a Sylvan Lake man charged with leaving the scene of a collision that left a woman seriously injured last March.

A three-day trial was set to go forward on Wednesday for Kyle Brian Carver, 18, who was charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm, leaving the scene of a collision in which someone suffered bodily harm, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and driving over .08.

Brittany Johnson, 25, of Sylvan Lake, was struck while she was walking in downtown Red Deer at about 3 a.m. on March 17, 2012.

Judge B.D. Rosborough said he needed time to review more case law after defence counsel Peter Northcott of Edmonton said that the charges against his client had not been formally read, normally done during court appearances at the outset, and therefore it gave his client the chance to re-elect how he wanted to be tried.

Carver indicated to his lawyer on Wednesday that he wanted to be tried by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge and jury.

Court heard that on May 7, 2012, defence counsel waived reading of the charges, but that a decision was made for a trial before a provincial court judge. Carver was not in court at the time.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard said he could suggest there was an implied waiver from Carver on reading of the charges and further to this, there were no other issues in following court appearances. Plus, Carver has been represented by the same counsel, said Collard.

“It’s a question of fairness to the accused,” said Northcott.

Rosborough said there were two questions arising from this: Is there an implied waiver of the reading of the charges? What prejudice is there to the accused at this particular point?

He said the Crown could give consent to a trial or a preliminary hearing, required for Court of Queen’s Bench, this week.

Collard replied he wasn’t giving consent to re-election and so a trial should go ahead. He said he was confident a trial could be done in two days.

Rosborough was expected to make a decision today at 9:30 a.m.

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