Rodney Arens gets new trial

  • Feb. 10, 2016 3:30 p.m.

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that Rodney Arens will get a new trial.

Justice Kirk Sisson sentenced Arens to five years and six months in prison in June 2014. He was given credit for 185 days for time served before and during the trial. His sentence also included a driving prohibition for 10 years.

Arens was found guilty of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and breach of recognizance.

Those convictions was overturned last week in the Alberta Court of Appeal after initially being heard last September. Justice Ronald Berger, Justice Peter Martin and Justice Barbara Lea Veldhuis delivered their decision last Friday.

Berger and Veldhuis both ruled Arens’ conviction be overturned and that a new trial be ordered, while Martin ruled the appeal be dismissed.

According to court documents reason for grounds of appeal included there was insufficient evidence to support a guilty impairment charge. Other reasons included that Sisson misapprehended and misapplied the law on proof of impairment and that Aren’s Charter rights were violated. A final reason was because of Sisson’s reversal of his voir dire ruling on the basis there was reasonable and probable ground for arrest.

Prior to trial, Arens filed a notice that his section eight and nine Charter rights had been violated by the RCMP when he was arrested, asked to give breath samples, and then taken to the detachment to be held overnight.

A voir dire (which is a trial held within a trial to determine if evidence is admissible) was held to determine if Aren’s Charter rights were breached and whether the evidence obtained as a result of the alleged breaches should be admitted. The evidence consisted of the observations by officers made after Arens was arrested and video recordings of him at the station.

The crown conceded a section eight Charter violation in a letter dated May 8th, 2014, and conceded a section nine Charter violation during oral argument. These concessions were made on the basis the arresting officer lacked reasonable and probable grounds to arrest the appellant and to make an evidentiary breath demand. There was a great deal of discussion between counsel and the court with respect to whether some evidence of alcohol consumption is required to form reasonable and probable grounds for an arrest for impaired driving.

Sisson ruled at trial that there was enough evidence to convict Arens without the Charter rights violation. Ultimately the Alberta Court of Appeal said Sisson used that inadmissible evidence to support his decision.

Meanwhile, the crown may appeal the decision to overturn Aren’s conviction and order a new trial to the Supreme Court. If they do decide to move forward with that appeal, they have 30 days to do so.

Arens will return to the Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer on March 7th.

Just Posted

Rebels, Hurricanes kick off their WHL playoff series

Game 1 starts the series Friday night in Lethbridge

The Lending Cupboard lands new location on north end

New location - 7803 - 50th Ave. to be fully operational by August

Lacombe Generals punch their ticket to Allan Cup

6-1 win over Stony Plain finishes off series in 5 games

Local Legions will be presenting the award-winning play Jake’s Gift

Acclaimed play has received rave reviews from critics and audience members alike

WATCH: What’s Up Wednesday – March 21st

A summary of the week’s news

WATCH: What’s Up Wednesday – March 21st

A summary of the week’s news

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Province releases Budget 2018 Thursday afternoon

No major funding announced for Red Deer Hospital expansion

Ice fisherman hooks massive catch from Sylvan Lake

Ron Rivard caught the 43 inch jackfish this morning

Break and enter to Ponoka farm home while resident was inside

Caucasian suspects quickly entered the home and stole several items Tuesday afternoon

10-15 cm expected for parts of Central/Northern Alberta

Lacombe and south can expect around 2-7 cm of snow today and into tonight

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Most Read