Liberal aide died from criminal or careless driving, court debates
Lawyers make final arguments in 2-day trial, verdict coming Thursday
The trial of a Gatineau, Que., man accused in the death of an aide to former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff closed with final arguments debating the reason for the crash.
Giuseppe Oppedisano, 51, is charged with dangerous driving causing death after his sport utility vehicle crashed into a motorcycle driven by Mario Laguë more than two years ago.
Laguë, then 52, was on his way to work on Scott Street in Ottawa during the morning of Aug. 12, 2010 when his motorcycle collided with the SUV. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Laguë, who had only ridden a motorcycle for a short time before the crash, had been serving as Ignatieff's director of communications for just under a year.
Video shows late turn, no signal
The Crown presented video evidence in court Monday showing Oppedisano entered the left turn lane late at Scott and Parkdale Avenue, did not signal for his lane change and cut the corner slightly as he turned.
On Tuesday, assistant Crown attorney Kevin Phillips desribed the accused's driving as "lackadaisical" and a "marked departure from that expected by a normal driver."
James Foord, Oppedisano's lawyer, admitted the driving was negligent but he asked the judge not to "make criminals of the merely careless."
Foord also argued the driving was not a "marked departure" and it did not "meet the test" for dangerous driving.
Also on Monday, Ottawa police Det. Cameron Graham also told the court neither vehicle was speeding at the time of the crash.
But it is not known what speed Lague was travelling. His motorcycle was found after the crash in the fourth gear out of five, Graham said, but police were not able to determine if the bike was moving faster than 50 km/h.
Dangerous driving causing death carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. Ontario Superior Court Judge Paul Lalonde is expected to issue a verdict Thursday.