Drunk driver who killed friend appeals conviction
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/10/2022 (224 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Lawyers for a Manitoba man sentenced to six months jail for an alcohol-related truck rollover incident that killed his 16-year-old best friend are appealing his conviction.
Kyle Nolan Devos, 22, was convicted after trial of one count each of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death following the April 7, 2018, crash on a Bruxelles field about 100 kilometres southwest of Portage la Prairie.
In a notice of appeal filed in court Thursday, defence lawyers argue Court of King’s Bench Justice Elliot Leven erred in admitting Devos’s breath sample readings into evidence and committed an error in law by convicting him of impaired driving causing death.
The Crown, who had recommended a four-year prison sentence for Devos, filed its own appeal earlier this month, arguing Levin over-emphasized evidence of Devos’s good character and imposed an unfit sentence.
No hearing dates have been set.
Court heard at trial Devos had been drinking at a party when he got into his truck with a friend and did “doughnuts” on a frozen farm field. Devos’s friend was in the backseat and not wearing a seatbelt when the truck fishtailed and flipped over, killing him.
Devos took two breathalyzer tests two hours after the collision, providing readings of .08 for both.
He was acquitted after trial of one count of driving over .08 because there was evidence he had been drinking just before getting behind the wheel and his blood-alcohol level may not have exceeded the legal limit at the time of the rollover.
At a sentencing hearing last June, court was provided with 129 support letters from family members, friends and community residents attesting to Devos’s remorse, history of volunteerism and sports leadership.
“The letters make it clear that Mr. Devos is, in his very essence, a young man of kindness, empathy, integrity and generosity,” Leven said in a sentencing decision delivered Sept. 29. “It would be unfair to simply ignore these essential facts in crafting a just and proportional sentence.”
Prosecutor Jay Funke argued those same letters, as well as a pre-sentence report prepared for court, provided clear evidence of a community not willing to concede a crime had been committed.
One writer, who described himself as a friend to the families of both Devos and the victim, said: “For reasons unknown to us, God decided he wanted (the victim) back.”
“I know very few teenage boys who have not spun their tires or cut power turns to some extent and this group was no different. Kyle Devos seems to be left holding the bag, so to speak, because he was driving,” the man said.
Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.
Updated on Saturday, October 29, 2022 2:17 PM CDT: Fixes typo