Supreme Court restores Leinen conviction

A second trial will not be held for a Calgary man convicted of second-degree murder after mowing down an Olds College student with his truck outside a bar in 2010.

A second trial will not be held for a Calgary man convicted of second-degree murder after mowing down an Olds College student with his truck outside a bar in 2010.

The Supreme Court of Canada restored the conviction of Jeffrey Leinen that had been overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeals last August. A new trial was ordered, but was put on hold, when the Alberta Crown took the case to the Supreme Court.

A jury found Leinen guilty of second-degree murder for running over Nicholas Baier, 18, outside the Texas Mickey bar in Olds. Baier was standing outside the bar with a group of others when Leinen, then 24 years old, gunned his pickup truck into the crowd.

Baier was killed and a 19-year-old man, Dan Scocdopole, was seriously injured. Baier, who was from the small agricultural community of Altario, around 270 km east of Red Deer, was taking agricultural management at the college.

Witnesses testified at Leinen’s trial that he had been kicked out of the bar for fighting.

Leinen was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years. He was also convicted at trial of aggravated assault on Scocdopole, then 19, and received three and a half years concurrently to his life sentence. He also got a 15-year driving prohibition to start after his release.

Leinen, who had more than 40 previous Criminal Code convictions, became the first driver in Canada to be convicted of murder using a vehicle as a weapon.

In a two-to-one decision, the high court said that the judge in the original case failed to properly instruct the jury on the legal implications of the panic attack defence in reaching a verdict.

Specifically, the Alberta Court of Appeal said the judge’s instructions did not make it clear an acquittal could be considered if the jury had reasonable doubt as to the “voluntariness” of Leinen’s actions.

The defence argued he accelerated into the crowd as a panic response and did not intend to injure or kill anyone.

However, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court disagreed the original judge had erred.

“We are all of the view that the charge to the jury, read as a whole, contained no reversible error in relation to either voluntariness or intent,” says the court.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Advocate poll shows another hospital wanted in Red Deer

Over 50 per cent of voters support second hospital

Olds RCMP has new detachment commander

Staff Sgt. Jim MacDonald now on the job

Off-highway vehicles recovered on Sunchild

Rocky Mountain House RCMP notifying owners

Alberta’s status of women minister joins Twitter debate over women’s marches

EDMONTON — A minister in Alberta’s NDP government has chastised a tweet… Continue reading

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month