DELTA - The trial of Cpl. Monty Robinson was delayed today as the judge adjourned the proceedings to decide the admissibility of some evidence.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillion adjourned the trial until Thursday at 2 p.m. when she will give judgement in the voir dire, which commenced yesterday to determine the admissibility of evidence provided by Delta police Const. Sarah Swallow.
The family of Orion Hutchinson was upset and frustrated with the delay.
"We're just very frustrated and upset by the delay and by the possibility that some of the statements uttered by the defendent might not be admissible because of a technicality involved by the Charter of Right," said Judith Hutchinson, Orion's mother. "It's obviously going to be upsetting to us and we just hope that the courts can resolve this quickly and make the right decision, in our view, so we can proceed and get back to what's really important about this case."
Swallow was the officer who arrested Robinson after he returned to the scene of the Oct. 25, 2008 crash.
Robinson's lawyer is asking the judge to exclude evidence given from the arresting office, which include the Mountie's admission that he downed two shots of vodka following the crash, because, he argued, his client gave the statement while he was unlawfully detained in the back of Swallow's police cruiser.
She told the court Tuesday that she initially began questioning Robinson as he stood next to his Jeep in the middle of the crash scene. She said after asking some initial questions she moved Robinson to her police car where he sat in the back while she continued asking questions.
Swallow said she had suspicions that Robinson might be impaired and she wanted to get more information about what had happened.
It was there that Robinson told the officer that he had two beers at a party earlier and two shots of vodka at home to calm his nerves after the crash.
After speaking to Robinson further while he was seated in the back of her police car, Swallow told him he was under arrest for impaired driving causing death.
Robinson's defence lawyer argued that Swallow had enough evidence to arrest his client before she moved him to her car.
Crown prosecutor Kris Pechet argued this morning that Robinson was not detained at the time he made the admission. He said Swallow had some general suspicions and, in the midst of a chaotic crash scene, made the decision to move Robinson to her car to speak to him further.
"She has a perfect right to as a police officer to do that," he said.
Robinson is charged with obstruction of justice in the crash that killed Orion Hutchinson. The 21-year-old died after the motorcycle he was driving collided with Robinson's Jeep at the corner of 6th Avenue and Gilchrist Drive in Tsawwassen.
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