The man accused of killing two people and injuring a third in a 2011 hit-and-run crash in Coquitlam, B.C. has changed his plea to guilty for the charge of leaving the scene.
Cory Sater, 38, is still pleading not guilty to nine other charges, including dangerous driving causing death and impaired driving causing death, in the deaths of Charlene Reaveley, 30, and Lorraine Cruz, 26.
Reaveley and her husband Dan had stopped to help Cruz and her boyfriend, Paulo Calimahin, after their vehicle hit the median on the Lougheed Highway in Feb. 2011.
Reaveley and Cruz were standing at the side of the road when Sater's Jeep allegedly careened into them then fled the scene. The two women were killed instantly. Calimahin was seriously injured.
As the trial entered closing arguments Wednesday, the defence—who did not present their own case during the trial— spoke for the first time, saying there is reasonable doubt as to whether Sater was drunk or drove dangerously on the night of the incident.
Earlier in the trial, the court heard from Lloyd Smith, who was a passenger in Sater's car at the time of the incident and had been drinking with him at the Lougheed Village Bar & Grill that night.
Just before midnight, he said, they left the bar to retrieve money from Sater's house so they could go drink some more. It was after they left Sater's house that the tragic events unfolded on Lougheed Highway.
Smith said that instead of stopping, Sater kept driving to his girlfriend's house, but there was no answer. The pair then walked to Sater's brother's house, and told him there was a bad accident.
Smith said he was headed to talk to the police the next morning when he got a call from Sater's brother, telling him not to go because a lawyer would be going with Sater to the police.
The Crown maintains Sater drank six rye-and-Cokes and two shots at the pub in the time leading up to the accident.
The trial has now concluded. The judge is scheduled to deliver a verdict on Jan. 3, 2014.