August 4, 2015


Local

Timeline

Feb. 25, 2005: Crystal Taman, 40, is killed when her 1991 Chevrolet Sprint convertible is rear-ended by a 1995 Dodge Dakota pickup as she waits at a red light at Lagimodière Boulevard and the north Perimeter Highway.

March 1: Const. Derek Harvey-Zenk, 31, is charged with refusing a breathalyser test, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and criminal negligence causing death.

March 2: About 700 people pay their respects to Taman. Visitors arrive with red Mothers Against Drunk Driving ribbons tied to cars.

March 31: Winnipeg police confirm Harvey-Zenk is suspended without pay. He later resigns.

July 17, 2007: Harvey-Zenk pleads guilty to dangerous driving causing death. Charges of refusing a breathalyser, impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death are stayed. Special Crown attorney Marty Minuk does not comment on why the alcohol-related charges are dropped.

Aug. 22: Minuk and defence lawyer Richard Wolson recommend to the court Harvey-Zenk be given a two-year conditional sentence. Justice sources and Taman's husband, Robert, claim a botched investigation by East St. Paul police forced the Crown to drop the alcohol-related charges.

Aug. 23: Manitoba Justice Minister Dave Chomiak calls for a review of the East St. Paul police service. An official from East St. Paul also confirms the February 2006 firing of chief Harry Bakema was a direct result of his failure "to follow proper investigative techniques" while probing the fatal crash.

Feb. 4, 2008: A public inquiry begins into the investigation of Taman's death by the East St. Paul police.

Oct. 6, 2008: A scathing report is issued by inquiry commissioner Roger Salhany, who rules the investigations by East St. Paul and Winnipeg Police Service were "riddled with incompetence" and "conducted in bad faith."

Jan. 19, 2009: Taman's family files a lawsuit over the investigation and prosecution of Harvey-Zenk. A few months later, the province and city would pay the family $300,000 to settle the suit filed against East St. Paul, including Bakema, Minuk, five Winnipeg police officers and the provincial government.

Nov. 24, 2010: Criminal charges are laid against Bakema, accusing him of perjury and obstruction of justice for his role in the scandal. RCMP in British Columbia were brought in to review the file and, after consultation with Alberta justice officials, made the arrest.

April 30, 2012: Bakema's trial begins in provincial court. He pleads not guilty but doesn't testify.

May 17: Crown and defence lawyers make final arguments in the trial. Provincial court Judge Kelly Moar reserves his decision, giving no indication when it will be ready.

Nov. 1, 2013: Following a nearly 18-month delay, Moar gives his verdict: Bakema is not guilty on all charges.

 

-- Mike McIntyre

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2013 A8

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