Robert Major appealing conviction for 2016 deaths of girlfriend, 2 sons

Click to play video: 'Robert Major sentenced in deaths of sons, girlfriend'
Robert Major sentenced in deaths of sons, girlfriend
WATCH ABOVE: A judge has sentenced Robert Major to seven years in prison for criminal negligence in the deaths of his girlfriend and two sons. Ryan Kessler reports – Jan 25, 2019

Robert Major is appealing his criminal negligence convictions for the deaths of his girlfriend and two of his sons, along with injuries to three others.

The 35-year-old man from the Langham, Sask., area was the driver of a Dodge Ram pickup truck that collided with a semi-truck at the intersection of Range Road 3083 and Highway 16 on Feb. 22, 2016.

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In January, Major was sentenced to seven years in prison for each of three counts of criminal negligence causing death. He also received three years for each of three counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. The sentences are to be served concurrently.

Major’s notice of appeal filed Thursday argues Crown prosecutors failed to “control their witnesses” as they delivered testimony, leading to “inadmissible, prejudicial and hearsay evidence.”

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The document states Justice Mona Dovell failed to repair the damage caused by the testimony. The document states she should have declared a mistrial.

“The significant inadmissible and prejudicial evidence should not have come as a surprise to Crown counsel or the professional police witness as such evidence was considered at both the preliminary inquiry and pre-trials,” the document reads.

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The appeal also states the event data recorder (EDR) from Major’s truck was seized without a warrant.

According to the EDR’s data, Major was travelling 137 kilometres per hour five seconds before the crash.

During trial, Dovell ruled retired RCMP Cpl. Douglas Green couldn’t testify as an expert on the EDR, but according to the appeal, the judge erred in allowing the device’s information to be admitted “without any foundation or limiting instructions.”

The EDR also showed Major didn’t stop at the intersection of the grid road and Highway 16. An expert for the defence testified that if a stop sign in the location hadn’t been knocked down, the crash never would have happened.

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The notice of appeal also argues the judge erred in her instructions to the jury and that the verdict was unreasonable and unsupported by evidence that ought to have been admissible.

Major’s girlfriend, 26-year-old Kimberly Oliverio, died in the collision, along with two of Major’s sons: Theodore Cardinal, 9, and Brenden Major, 4.

A hearing has yet to be scheduled in Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal.

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