Update: 11:48 a.m.
Donald Brodie has been found guilty of two charges including criminal negligence causing bodily harm in a decision rendered at the Kelowna law courts this morning.
Brodie was also found guilty of operating a motor vehicle dangerously while avoiding a police officer. He was found not guilty of two charges of obstruction of police.
Sentencing has yet to be decided.
The Capital News has a reporter in the court-room and will update this story with more information.
Original: Sept. 21/17
The fate of a Kelowna man who’s on trial for allegedly driving through a police check stop and running over a Capital News delivery man is now in a judge’s hands.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin is expected to render a decision on Donald Brodie’s fate by week’s end, putting to rest a lengthy and confusing case that started Dec. 6, 2013, when a car sped through a police check stop in Rutland and ran down Steve Kania. Kania suffered broken bones and a brain injury.
Originally Mounties charged Nathan Fahl for crimes attached to the incident, but Brodie told almost anyone who would listen that he was the driver. He’s since recanted that confession and most recently has told the courts he only confessed to help out his friend, Fahl.
In closing arguments Crown counsel Dave Grabavac argued that, among other things, those confessions to media and police both before and after Fahl was charged should be weighed seriously.
One confession was to Sgt. Michael Cooke on Monday, dated March 8. 2014.
“I already told you I was the driver. Nate was probably trying to tell a joke, talking on the phone and trying to protect me because he knows I’ll get lots of federal time, so he’s covering for me,” Grabavac read from a letter Brodie had written, earlier in the week.
By June the police had investigated his claim and charges against Fahl were dropped and shifted to Brodie.
Grabavac argued if clearing his friend was the aim, Brodie had done his job by the time Fahl had charges against him dropped and there was no reason to keep confessing. But he did.
“In my respectful submission there was no reason to write those letters … it makes no sense while he was charged to keep writing letters saying he did it,” said Grabavac.
In one letter from the days after he was charged, Brodie wrote to a police officer who had been investigated by a police oversight group for his conduct the night of the incident. Brodie told the officer he should man up, admit he’d been in the wrong, just as he had done.
He also wrote letters to media that read like an apology to Kania and his family, something Grabavac said would be cruel if he in fact had nothing to do with the incident. He also apologized to the Fahl family.
Defence lawyer John Gustafson argued that there is no clear evidence that it was Brodie behind the wheel of the car. No fingerprints or DNA link him to the driver’s seat. Nor, he said, was there first hand accounts of who was driving brought forward by Crown, which there could have been given there were two other people in the car.
The judge is expected to give her decision Friday.