Contractor pleads not guilty in fatal collision

A local building contractor awaiting trial in connection with a fatal collision in Red Deer more than three years ago has pleaded not guilty to additional charges laid earlier this year.

A local building contractor awaiting trial in connection with a fatal collision in Red Deer more than three years ago has pleaded not guilty to additional charges laid earlier this year.

Rodney Ross Arens, 35, was arrested by Sylvan Lake RCMP in March on charges of breaching release conditions and a series of traffic tickets.

Arens has been awaiting trial on numerous charges laid in connection with the July 1, 2010, collision in which a 13-year-old boy was killed and his older brother and sister both suffered injuries.

Charges include impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing injury, dangerous driving causing injury, refusing to provide police with a breath sample and breaching release conditions.

On those charges, Arens had asked to be tried by judge and jury in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench, with a six-week trial set for March 25 of this year.

However, the trial collapsed in January after he fired his lawyer, Will Willms of Red Deer.

A new trial on those charges was later scheduled for April 22 to June 13, 2014.

A trial on the more recent charges has been set for Red Deer provincial court on Jan. 10, with Arens to confirm those dates on Dec. 4.

He was warned by Judge John Holmes on Wednesday that the trial will proceed on schedule, whether or not he has found a lawyer to represent him.

Arens replied that he has about $30,000 in contracts lined up over the next month and anticipates that he will therefore be in a position to hire legal help.