A Williams Lake man charged with impaired driving causing the death of a 20-year-old nursing student on April 22, 2012, has been acquitted.
Nervousness could be felt in the packed courtroom as friends, family, and three members of the RCMP gathered in the Williams Lake Supreme Court House to hear Justice D. Truscott deliver his trial decision in the case of 30-year-old Martin William Gentles this morning.
Truscott began by reading aloud the seven charges Gentles was being tried for, including dangerous driving causing the death of 20-year-old Rayael Macdonald.
Gentles, who was driving his pickup collided with Macdonald and her friend, Alysha Mullet while they were walking across Carson Drive after attending a barn dance, showed no emotion during the readings.
A murmur of “Ridiculous!” could be heard, as Truscott acquitted Gentles on the counts of impaired causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm, as he said there was insufficient evidence to suggest Gentles had enough time to stop for the girls who essentially walked out in front of him according to evidence.
Although Gentles was found guilty for driving impaired and the failure to stop at an accident, it was not enough for many who quietly left the courtroom with tears being shed for the young life that was lost.
Gentles is scheduled to appear later in court later this month to fix a date for presentencing.
Both Gentles, and his lawyer, Ken Walker, declined to comment.