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B.C. court denies appeal in case of fatal Shuswap Lake houseboat crash

The B.C. Court of Appeal has denied a man’s appeal that his court case took too long, therefore violating his charter right to a timely trial. Leon Reinbrecht was convicted in 2015, five years after a fatal houseboat crash in 2010. Submitted

The man convicted in a fatal houseboat crash on Shuswap Lake in 2010 did not have his rights to a timely trial violated, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday.

Leon Reinbrecht was sentenced to three years in jail in October 2015, five years after the fatal accident in July 2010. Reinbrecht’s boat smashed into a houseboat at night, killing operator Ken Brown. Other people were also injured in the accident.

READ MORE: Police recommend charges in last year’s fatal Shuswap boat crash

Court heard that Reinbrecht was drinking and smoking marijuana, and that his boat was zig-zagging along the shoreline and doing donuts prior to smashing into the houseboat. The collision took place approximately 300 feet from shore.

WATCH: Calgary businessman victim of Shuswap boating crash (2014)

In B.C. Supreme Court in 2015, Madam Justice Sheri Ann Donegan found Reinbrecht guilty of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

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Reinbrecht, however, argued that his trial took too long, an argument the B.C. Court of Appeal denied this week, though court did say it was a complex and lengthy case.

READ MORE: 27 empties found in boat involved in houseboat crash

“In the result, after deducting the two discrete events and, if necessary, considering the complexity of the case, the net total delay was in my view reasonable,” wrote Madam Justice Daphne Smith.

“In any event, under the transitional exceptional circumstance any marginal delay that may have exceeded the presumptive ceiling was justified. Accordingly, I would dismiss the appeal.”

READ MORE: Two guilty verdicts in fatal boat crash on Shuswap Lake

The appeal can be found by clicking here.

The original sentencing can be found by clicking here.

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