Three charges have been laid in the motor vehicle accident that took the life of Prince Albert man Ben Darchuk over the May long weekend.
When asked why it took a month for any charges to be laid, Const. Lee Reilly of the Prince Albert RCMP said the wait is not out of the ordinary in these situations.
“That’s just how long the investigation took,” he said.
“Depending on the circumstances … ya, it does usually take that long.”
In cases like this, extensive investigations are common, as investigators need to be sure of the charges before moving forward.
“We investigate the actual collision scene, we talk to witnesses, we talk to the accused, and basically just try to gather all of our evidence there,” Reilly said.
“In any impaired cases we have to do a scientific analysis … to determine if they’re over the legal limit or not. In this case it was blood samples that we had to take, and that’s what took so long to come back.”
Reilly didn’t speculate on what sentence the three charges might result in, saying that the matter is completely up to the judge.
The Criminal Code states that all three charges carry a maximum life sentence.
“That’s the maximum sentence.” Reilly said.
“It’s going to depend on the evidence presented at trial, and it’s going to be completely up to the judge what type of sentence will actually be handed out in this case.”
Twenty-one year-old Tanner Hallett Courtney is facing three charges stemming from the incident — impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death, driving over 80mg causing death and criminal negligence causing death.
Courtney will make his first court appearance in Prince Albert on August 2.