Driver who killed Linnea Veinotte said she didn't die immediately
Grenadian driver who struck New Brunswick-born woman told police he at first thought of taking her to hospital
The driver awaiting sentencing in Linnea Veinotte's death told police in Grenada that she was alive after he struck her with his truck, and that he wanted to get her medical care.
Almost two years after the New Brunswick native was fatally injured, details have emerged of driver Akim Frank's account of his behaviour after he struck Veinotte almost exactly two years ago.
Frank, who ditched Veinotte's body on a golf course, was supposed to be sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty last month to manslaughter in St. George's, the capital of the Caribbean country. The hearing was postponed until Jan. 17, 2018.
In an email conveying the new date, Grenada's director of public prosecutions, Christopher Nelson, confirmed a local newspaper's account of what Frank told the police when he turned himself in, almost a week after Veinotte was reported missing by her husband, Matthew.
According to the New Today, Frank told authorities that Veinotte, who was 36 and the mother of two young boys, was still alive after he ran into her with his truck on Dec. 6, 2015, when she was out walking her dog.
He said he intended to get her to the hospital.
"The 26-year old suspect later told police investigators that he went into [Veinotte's neighbourhood] Lance Aux Epines to drop off someone and was driving the vehicle with speed since he was late in bringing it back to the owner," the newspaper reported.
"Frank reportedly said that after running into the woman and the dog, he stopped and decided to pick up Linnea, who fell to the ground in an attempt to carry her to the St. George's General hospital for medical treatment."
"He put the injured lady into the back of the vehicle and took the route leading into Grand Anse Valley to get into the city."
"The accused said that while driving the vehicle he noticed that it started to wobble and when he stopped he realized that he had a flat tyre."
"He took the vehicle into an area along the road to change the tyre and when he saw a man and an animal he decided to drive off.
"He also said that he stopped somewhere else along the route to change the tyre and when he looked back at the woman, he felt that she was dead and became real scared.
"The accused said he decided to drive the vehicle to Golf Course to dump off the body."
Non-capital murder charge
That's where Frank led authorities to Veinotte's partially decomposed remains on Dec. 11, 2015.
According to medical examiners, the remains were too far gone to determine how long she may have survived her initial injuries.
They did confirm the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the chest and limbs due to a vehicular accident.
Frank was first charged with non-capital murder.
- Murder trial date set for Akim Frank in death of Linnea Veinotte
- Linnea Veinotte's accused killer to be tried for non-capital murder
In Grenada, capital murder includes the unlawful killing of a police officer or the killing of any person during the commission of another offence such as a robbery.
While it carries a maximum penalty of death by hanging, according to the Cornell Law School database, Grenada hasn't had an execution since 1978.
All other murders in that country are considered non-capital with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Manslaughter is considered a lesser charge but still carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Veinotte was a faculty member at St. George's University.
She first started working there after completing postdoctoral fellowships in Dalhousie University's Department of Microbiology and Immunology. She accepted an assistant professor position at St. George's in 2015.
Born in New Denmark, N.B., she was the daughter of Rev. Douglas and Karen Moore of Fredericton.
Her husband, Matthew Veinotte, marked the second anniversary of her disappearance with an update on a Facebook page created in her memory.
"Two years ago today, our lives changed forever," he wrote in a post on Dec. 6.
"I lost … my wife, the mother of my children, my best friend and the most amazing person that I had ever met! Forever and for always babydoll!!!"