The defence lawyer for a man accused of smashing his speedboat into a houseboat on Shuswap Lake four years ago, killing the operator, said Friday he may apply to have the charges thrown out based on delays.
Lawyers met Friday in preparation for a trial scheduled for B.C. Supreme Court in January — 3 1/2 years after the death of houseboat operator Ken Brown, 53, of Anglemont.
Leon Reinbrecht is charged with criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. He was 49 at the time of the accident.
The collision between the ski boat and houseboat occurred following a fireworks celebration of Canada Day in which dozens of boaters were on the lake.
The trial was delayed both by the late charge by the Crown — in December 2011, 17 months after the accident — and by wrangling over legal aid funding.
Defence lawyer Ken Walker said in an interview he will concede a five-month delay, between September and January this year, is the fault of his client.
But the other three years “is at the foot of the Crown.”
The application would be made under a section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Earlier this week, a provincial court judge threw out charges against three hunters accused of using deer as target practice over delays caused by the Crown. Judge Stephen Harrison said the delay cause harm to the three men awaiting trial and jeopardized their right to a fair trial, in part due to lessening memories over that period.
Walker said he has not yet determined whether the trial will be by judge and jury or judge alone. The trial is scheduled for Jan. 6.
If it proceeds, the trial is expected to last six weeks and feature as many as 55 witnesses.