OTTAWA — The lawyer for a man charged in a fatal crash that killed a toddler has told the Supreme Court his client has been through enough.
Richard Suter is appealing his 26-month sentence for refusing to provide a breath sample after his SUV crashed into a restaurant patio, killing two-year-old Geo Mounsef.
On Wednesday, defence lawyer Dino Bottos told the Supreme Court his client was given bad legal advice after the 2013 crash — don't give a breath sample and don't talk to anyone.
Bottos said that's why the judge at the original trial decided it was an honest mistake and sentenced Suter to four months, a term that was increased by the Alberta Court of Appeal.
He also noted that Suter was beaten and had his thumb cut off when a group of men went to his home in January 2015.
However, Crown counsel Joanne Dartana argued even the 26-month sentence was lenient given the gravity of the offence and the moral blameworthiness of the offender.
The little boy's family made the trip to Ottawa to watch court proceedings.
“It gets difficult sometimes sitting in court and listening to this,” his mother, Sage Morin, told CTV News. “Especially because at this point you really don’t know which way it will go.”
Suter testified at his sentencing that he had three drinks over four hours before the crash, but wasn't drunk. He said he had been arguing with his wife about a divorce and mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake while he was parking the SUV.
Suter has served nine and a half months of his 26-month sentence; he’s out on bail while the Supreme Court decides, which could take four months or longer.
The Canadian Press
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