Impaired driving charges recommended for Mountie
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 9, 2009 3:09PM PDT
An RCMP officer involved in the death of Robert Dziekansi should find out in the next month whether he will face charges for impaired and dangerous driving in the unrelated death of a motorcyclist, a Crown spokesman says.
Delta police said Tuesday they have finished their investigation into the October 2008 crash and have recommended two charges against Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson, who was off-duty when a Jeep collided with a motorcycle.
Orion Hutchinson, 21, was killed. He had recently completed a trades program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and was days away from a new job when he was thrown from the motorcycle.
Robinson was arrested at the scene.
Delta police announced Tuesday that they have finally forwarded their report to the Crown.
"The Delta police are now awaiting charge approval on the recommended charges against the off-duty RCMP officer, Monty Robinson, of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death," Const. Sharlene Brooks said.
Neil MacKenzie, a spokesman for the Criminal Justice Branch, said the Crown's review of the report should be completed within the next month.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields said Robinson was suspended with pay following the crash and remains so.
"That pay status is currently under review," Shields said, though he did not know when that review might be complete.
Robinson was the most senior of the four RCMP officers involved in Dziekanski's death at Vancouver airport in October 2007.
His lawyer could not be reached for comment Tuesday regarding the Delta police department's findings.
Robinson testified in March at a public inquiry that he gave the order to stun the Polish man with a Taser.
Police came under fire earlier this year after scheduled court dates were delayed and charges failed to be laid in Hutchinson's death month after month.
Delta police said they had not received all the information and reports required by the Crown to lay charges in the case.
The force initially recommended charges months ago, including driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08. Additional materials requested by the Crown were finally submitted Monday.
Brooks said it's the force's duty and responsibility to conduct a full and thorough investigation.
"Essentially, what we're dealing with here is a homicide and by their very nature, they're complex and take a considerable amount of time," she said.
"Investigations don't flow in a nice tidy package."
When asked if the delay in filing charges highlights the difficulty in police investigating police, Brooks said the force is aware of the gravity of the situation.
"We know that it's not only the public's expectation that the Delta police conduct a thorough and impartial and professional investigation, it's our objective in each and every case and this was no different," she said.
Brooks said investigators have been in contact with Hutchinson's family and that they are still grieving a significant loss.
The motor vehicles branch suspended Robinson's driver's licence for 90 days following the crash -- a suspension he tried unsuccessfully to appeal.
The officer argued in B.C. Supreme Court in March that a motor vehicles adjudicator didn't properly consider his statement that he left the scene of the collision, had two shots of vodka, and then returned to the scene.