Judge mulls fate of woman high on crack who killed biker
A provincial court judge is being asked to make a difficult decision in the case of a Vancouver Island woman who admitted to killing a motorcyclist while she was high on crack and alcohol.
Motorcyclist Jana Mahenthiran, 47, died instantly on July 1, 2011 after Tracey Dawn Smith's car crossed the centre line and into his lane on the Trans Canada Highway just outside of Victoria.
Smith, 37, has been clean and sober since her arrest 18 months ago.
The Crown argues Smith should spend three to five years in jail, but her lawyer disagrees — saying she would benefit from additional drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
"That will be a benefit to society, to contribute productively by working and perhaps assisting other addicts to get off that trail of destruction," Smith’s lawyer said.
Bobbi Bjornholt, the head of the motorcycle club Mahenthiran belonged to, agrees rehab might help Smith — but says jail time is needed to send a message.
"There needs to be a message that you can't get in a car drunk and on crack and start driving and killing people," he said.
"You just can't do that, and if you do do that, there should be some serious consequences for that."
Judge Robert Higgenbotham has reserved his decision, saying the interests of justice require further reflection and thought.