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Accused guilty in woman’s death even if victim was ill before before hitch assault: Crown

Closing arguments are being heard today in the Thunder Bay manslaughter trial of Brayden Bushby, accused in the death of 34-year-old Barbara Kentner. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — A Crown attorney says a clear link between an Indigenous woman’s injury from a trailer hitch and her eventual death establishes the guilt of the man who threw the heavy object at her, regardless of her underlying health conditions.

Closing arguments are being heard today in the Thunder Bay manslaughter trial of Brayden Bushby, accused in the death of 34-year-old Barbara Kentner.

Read more: Witness recalls man laughing after throwing trailer hitch at Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Bushby, 21, has admitted to throwing the trailer hitch at Kentner in January 2017 but he is pleading not guilty to manslaughter in her death five months later.

Crown attorney Andrew Sadler says a forensic pathologist’s expert testimony that complications from Kentner’s injury eventually killed her establishes Bushby’s moral culpability for her death.

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Read more: Trial begins for man accused in death of Indigenous woman hit by trailer hitch

Bushby’s defence lawyer has argued that there is no legal link between his client’s assault of Kentner and her death months later, pointing to her underlying health conditions.

The Crown has cited the “thin skull” legal principle, meaning that Bushby is still culpable for the outcome of his actions even though Kentner was sick with liver disease and more likely to die from her injury.

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