Drug, blood evidence deemed admissible in trial of man accused in Brampton crash that killed 4

Click to play video: 'Ciasullo family frustrated as Robertson trial continues'
Ciasullo family frustrated as Robertson trial continues
WATCH ABOVE: The family of Karolina Ciasullo and her children are frustrated they are being dragged through a trial despite a guilty plea. As Catherine McDonald reports, Brady Robertson has pleaded not guilty to impaired driving though he admits he was driving dangerously on the day of the deadly crash – Jul 13, 2021

An Ontario court judge has rejected a defence motion to throw out evidence despite the fact the judge ruled the accused’s charter rights were infringed upon in a high-profile case regarding a crash that killed a 36-year-old Caledon teacher and her three young daughters.

Madam Justice Sandra Caponecchia, who is presiding over the judge-alone trial of 21-year-old Brady Robertson, made the ruling in Brampton virtual court on Wednesday.

In July, Robertson pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing the deaths of Karolina Ciasullo and her three children, six-year-old Klara, three-year-old Lilianna, and one-year-old Mila Ciasullo.

Read more: Caledon man pleads guilty to dangerous driving, not guilty to impaired driving in deadly crash

Robertson pleaded not guilty to four counts of impaired operation by drugs of a motor vehicle and not guilty in relation to a collision two days earlier.

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On June 18, 2020, Robertson was speeding eastbound on Countryside Road. As he approached Torbram Road, he used the left turn lane on Countryside Road to get around vehicles that were stopped for a red light.

Robertson disobeyed the red light and proceeded through the intersection. When he did so, he struck a Volkswagen Atlas that was travelling northbound on Torbram Road on a green light.

A hydro pole fell on the Volkswagen. Two other vehicles were also impacted. Ciasullo and her three daughters all died.

A police officer who had noticed Robertson’s vehicle did not have a front license plate tried unsuccessfully to catch up to him. The officer was approximately 200 metres behind Robertson’s Infiniti sports car when the collision occurred.

Read more: Officer testifies he found pills, cannabis in car of accused in Brampton crash that left 4 dead

In July, during a blended trial and voir dire in which an agreed statement of facts was tendered, defence lawyers argued that drugs located in Robertson’s car and the analysis of his blood by a toxicologist should be excluded because Robertson’s charter rights were violated.

Caponecchia agreed that Robertson’s charter rights were breached in three instances including when an officer searched Robertson’s car six days after the crash during a mechanical inspection and found drugs in the glove compartment.

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And in another case, when an officer seized a vial of what appeared to be urine knowing the warrant he was responsible for drafting, was for blood.

Caponecchia concluded “that on balance, the cumulative nature of the breaches in this case weigh more in favour of including of the drugs and blood evidence than exclusion.”

Read more: Driver involved in deadly Brampton crash of mother, 3 daughters facing 4 new drug charges

“This is a serious offence that resulted in the tragic death of a mother of her three young children in the middle of a summer day. It was committed by a young adult, driving a newly purchased car with eight times the legal limit of THC in his blood just one hour after the offence took place. The offence took place less than two years after the legalization of cannabis,” she said.

“With the relatively recent advent of the legalization of this recreational drug, there is a strong societal interest in the adjudication of impaired driving by drug cases where multiple deaths are caused, absent the establishment of one or more egregious Charter violations. This is not one of those cases. I am satisfied the administration of justice would be brought into disrepute by the exclusion of evidence in this case.”

The judge will return to court in November to rule whether she is satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Robertson was impaired by drugs at the time of the collision. Depending on the decision, the court heard there could be a constitutional challenge to that decision.

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Defence lawyer Craig Bottomley declined to comment on Wednesday’s 32-page judgement. Robertson has been in custody since being arrested at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto where he was being treated for two broken legs six days after the day of the deadly collision.

Click to play video: 'Trial begins in Brampton crash that killed mother and 3 daughters'
Trial begins in Brampton crash that killed mother and 3 daughters

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