Five witnesses took the stand on Monday as the trial for an alleged hit-and-run incident three years ago finally got underway.
Charges were laid against the accused following the death of 21-year-old Prince Albert resident Daniel Carter in September 2010. The Crown argues that the accused hit and killed Carter with her vehicle outside Stavros Lounge before driving away.
With Judge R.S. Smith presiding, Crown attorney Cam Scott began by presenting the evidence to be used during the trial, which includes photos, an autopsy report, warned statement and surveillance footage.
As each witness took the stand, Scott sought to reconstruct the events of Sept. 18-19, 2010 using their testimony.
The first witness was Sgt. Shawn Stubbs of the Prince Albert Police Service, who visited the victim in hospital before taking photographs at the scene.
Stubbs described the contents of the photo booklets to the court. They included photos of the victim in the hospital, the scene of the crime, autopsy, the victim’s clothes, the vehicle of the accused and another vehicle she allegedly hit.
Scene photos showed bloodstains on the pavement, while photographs of the first vehicle showed damage to the rear bumper, hood and right front bumper.
The next two witnesses, cousins Elisa and April Halkett, helped describe the sequence of events leading up to the incident.
Coming into Prince Albert for the evening, the pair hung out at Stavros for half an hour or so before Elisa went out to the car for a cigarette.
Speaking to the court, Elisa said that a woman exited loudly through the back door of the lounge. April mentioned she was holding what appeared to be a mobile phone.
The woman entered her car -- described by witnesses as either silver or grey -- and then allegedly backed up into another vehicle, bumping it slightly.
His breathing was not well, and he had quite a lot of blood in and around his face. Sarah Anderson
The fourth witness, Sarah Anderson, reported that the bumped car rolled into the path of her and her friends as they walked through the parking lot.
Witnesses who observed the silver car leave the parking lot noted the speed with which it did so before turning onto Second Avenue West.
A sudden noise then grabbed their attention.
“It was quite loud. It sounded like somebody had hit garbage cans,” Anderson noted.
Turning around, she saw a young man lying awkwardly on the road in a condition she described as “very poor.”
“His breathing was not well, and he had quite a lot of blood in and around his face,” Anderson said.
The fifth witness, 23-year-old Derek Labiuk, described seeing a man get hit with the front of the car and disappear under it.
In cross-examining the witnesses, defence attorney Greg Chovin focused on potential factors that may have obscured their vision, repeatedly noting poor light conditions.
He also pointed to discrepancies between their testimony and transcripts from prior witness statements, as well as conflicting accounts of whether they saw the car’s brake lights activated.
Following adjournment for the day, the trial is set to resume at the Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Danielle Chamakese of Pelican Lake has been charged with criminal negligence causing death, dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and failure to remain at the scene of an accident. She is pleading not guilty to all three charges.