A Pelican Lake First Nation woman has been found guilty of two of three charges stemming from a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a Prince Albert man three years ago.
In court Friday morning, 22-year-old Danielle Chamakese was convicted of dangerous driving causing the death of 21-year-old Daniel Carter and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.
Speaking outside court, Robert Burns, Daniel Carter’s stepfather, says Friday’s decision does bring some closure for the family in what has been a long and difficult ordeal.
“I guess we’ve had some type of a conclusion today with the remarks and what the judge has told us and I guess we now just wait again until Dec. 11,” he says.
Karen Burns, Carter’s mother, says she is not going to speculate on what the sentence should be but regardless of the result, it won’t bring her son back.
“I don’t even want to guess at that because just kind of seeing what Families for Justice is posting all the time, it seems like it’s all over the place, the sentences always seem like they’re quite light,” she says. “Any sentence they give her, isn’t going to bring Daniel back.”
Chamakese, who was found not guilty of criminal negligence causing death, is due back in court for sentencing on Dec. 11.
The incident occurred in September 2010 while Chamakese was leaving Stavros bar in Prince Albert.
Court heard Chamakese had been drinking at the bar and, while backing her car up, she hit another vehicle.
Nervous about the damage to the other car and how this would affect her licence, Chamakese left the parking lot in a stressed state and this is when she struck Carter.
While in custody, Chamakese told an undercover officer that she had seen Carter come in front of her car before striking him and then driving away.
However, Chamakese later testified she had only heard a thud against the side of her car before driving away.
In rendering his decision, Justice Smith discounted Chamakese’s second version of events stating the signs of trauma on Carter’s body were consistent with being hit by the front of a car.
Justice Smith also said there is no doubt Chamakese’s dangerous operation of a vehicle resulted in Carter’s death and she was aware she was leaving the scene of an accident while driving away.
However, in finding Chamakese not guilty of criminal negligence causing death, he said it is not clear that she was fully aware of the consequences of her actions due to her frenzied state of mind at the time of the accident.