EDMONTON – Family members of a 33-year-old Edmonton father killed in a hit-and-run cried in court as Jonathan Cardinal pleaded guilty to four charges including dangerous driving causing death.
Cardinal had been charged with manslaughter in relation to Adam Groves’ death but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge Tuesday morning.
Court heard that on June 13, 2014, Groves was helping his wife rescue their cat which was stuck in a window. His truck was running in front of their Beverly Heights town home.
Cardinal was running from police at the same time. He saw Groves’ pick-up truck and jumped in. Cardinal then put the vehicle into reverse and “aggressively” backed away.
Groves saw Cardinal get into his vehicle and according to the police accounts, Groves “superman jumped onto the back of his truck.”
He was soon thrown off. Cardinal continued backing up and ran over Groves. The husband and father of two died on scene.
Cardinal fled and managed to evade police for 10 days. He was arrested after a dramatic takedown near 86 Street and 106 Avenue.
Police were called to the area after a man was found unconscious in a vehicle. When police woke him up, the suspect ran away, smashed through a glass patio door and ran into an apartment suite, which was unoccupied at the time.
Police said he continued to run away from officers and entered a second suite. Cardinal was eventually brought into custody with the help of a police service dog.
After he was arrested, investigators matched Cardinal’s DNA with samples found on the steering wheel and gear shift in Groves’ truck.
Groves’ family members listened to the account of the crime being read out in court. His wife, Jolene Poulin, and his mother both began to cry.
After the hearing, Poulin said the emotion created by the guilty plea is overwhelming. She said her two children are not doing well.
Her oldest is now nine years old. Poulin said he still misses his father terribly. Her youngest is six years old and doesn’t remember Groves.
Poulin also seemed angry. When speaking of Cardinal she said, “He’s still breathing and living and my husband is not.”
Sentencing for Cardinal has been scheduled for April 21.
With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News.
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