Linda O’Leary’s defense highlights boat light evidence in closing arguments at trial – .

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Linda O’Leary’s defense highlights boat light evidence in closing arguments at trial – .


TORONTO – A lawyer for Linda O’Leary argues that the evidence showing that the lights of another ship were out when her client crashed into it is too strong to convict her in the fatal collision with a boat.

Pleadings began this morning in the trial of O’Leary, who is accused of a boating accident in August 2019 north of Toronto that killed two people.

The wife of famous businessman Kevin O’Leary has pleaded not guilty to a charge of recklessly operating a vessel under the Canada Shipping Act.

Her attorney Brian Greenspan told court today that video and testimony that the lights on the other boat were off at the time of the crash outweighed “speculation” about possible wrongdoing by the from O’Leary.

He argued that it was not possible to know how fast Linda O’Leary was driving, whether she was impaired by alcohol at the time, or whether she was driving the boat recklessly.

Greenspan argued that she should be released from liability because the Crown could not prove that none of these factors played a role in her actions.

“There can be no rational and reasonable evidentiary basis for a suggestion that the Nautical was anything but invisible to Ms O’Leary on this dark, moonless night,” Greenspan told the court.

Kevin O’Leary testified in his wife’s defense on Wednesday, saying he saw “no light” from the other vessel involved in the overnight crash on Lake Joseph until after the collision.

The former “Dragons’ Den” star was a passenger on the family’s pilot boat at the time of the crash, along with another friend who was injured.

Gary Poltash, 64, of Florida, and Suzana Brito, 48, of Uxbridge, Ont., Died of their injuries after the crash and three others were also injured.

Whether the other boat had its lights on was a point of contention in the case.

Witnesses on the other boat, including the owner who was accused in the crash of failing to show a navigation light, said they remembered some lights being on.

But Greenspan said the testimony of those witnesses should be treated with caution.

He argued that the judge should dismiss their evidence because it does not match the video showing that the lights of the 16-foot Nautical vessel were off when the accident occurred, and with the testimony of witnesses at Cottage O ‘Leary who said the lights on the other boats only come on after the accident.

Kevin O’Leary also testified that he did not recall whether his wife had been drinking alcohol in the hours before the accident.

The court heard earlier the testimony of a police officer who said Linda O’Leary had a “warning range” blood alcohol level during a breathalyzer test shortly after the accident. The officer said Linda O’Leary told her she only drank a glass after the crash.

Greenspan argued Thursday that the Crown did not have any evidence to prove the significance of that alert test result or whether it had impacted his client’s browsing.

He also reported video evidence of her leaving a dinner party at another chalet just before the late-night crash in which she appeared to be functioning normally.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 21, 2021.

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