A Lethbridge judge has ruled that the autopsy report of a young boy will not be allowed as evidence when the careless driving trial for Neil Skjodt begins Monday.
Skjodt is charged with careless driving causing death under the Traffic Safety Act, stemming from an incident in April 2020 when an SUV struck 10-year-old Charles McIntyre.
According to police, McIntyre and his family were using a crosswalk near Aquitania Boulevard and Whoop-Up Drive W. when the vehicle struck him. The boy later died in hospital.
Police said McIntyre and his family were using the crosswalk properly and were in no way at fault in the incident. Police also determined there was no criminality involved in the collision, so Skjodt was charged under the Traffic Safety Act and not the Criminal Code.
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If found guilty, Skjodt could face a fine of $2,000, six months in jail, or both. He could also have his licence suspended.
Earlier this month, Judge Timothy Hironaka dismissed a Jordan application by defence lawyer Greg White, a motion that could have seen the case dismissed entirely based on the amount of time that had passed since the charge was laid.
The defence also argued that since Skjodt wasn’t charged with careless driving causing death, details surrounding McIntyre’s death shouldn’t be admissible during trial. On Tuesday, the judge agreed, ruling that the autopsy report will not be allowed as evidence; and while the medical examiner can testify in the trial, he cannot give any medical opinion regarding the death or the autopsy results.
Members of McIntyre’s family were on hand for Tuesday’s decision and told Global News they were disappointed by the judge’s ruling.
The five-day trial is set to begin on Monday morning.