Alberta classroom crash accused denied bail
The man accused of crashing his minivan into a school in St. Paul, Alta., killing a Grade 6 student, was denied bail on Thursday.
Richard Benson, 46, is charged with criminal negligence causing death, two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.
Benson was arrested after a minivan smashed through a ground-floor window Thursday morning, dropping onto Racette Junior High School students attending a French class.
Three girls were flown to hospital in Edmonton in critical condition. One of them, Megan Wolitski, died on Friday.
Benson crossed his heart as he was seated in the courtroom on Thursday. He stared straight ahead as Judge Kathleen Williams delivered her 45-minute decision.
A number of family members were in the courtroom, including several of his children. His daughter sobbed and shouted "I love you, Dad" as Benson was led out of the courtroom. He will return to court on Dec. 13.
Benson's lawyer Brian Beresh said that he will appeal the bail decision.
"We think the judge committed a number of errors and there will very shortly be an appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench, which is not unusual in these kinds of cases," Beresh said outside court.
"Sometimes local judges emphasize a local concern which we don't think exists and shouldn't come into play."
Benson's family believes the crash may have been caused by a seizure, the result of a beating he suffered a decade ago.
CBC News learned Benson has a lengthy criminal record with several driving offences, including a dangerous driving charge from 2011 which is scheduled for trial in April.