A police officer testifying at the trial of a prominent Pembroke dentist charged with impaired driving causing death said he repeatedly checked on her — interrupting and ultimately ending her call to her lawyer — out of concern for her well being.
Dr. Christy Natsis is charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and exceeding the legal blood-alcohol limit in the March 2011 crash that killed 50-year-old Brian Casey of Ottawa.
OPP Cont. Ryan Besner arrested Natsis at the scene of the crash and was with Natsis when she made a call to a lawyer while in the bathroom at the Arnprior hospital.
He told the court Wednesday that he knocked on the bathroom door and interrupted her call repeatedly to check on her well-being.
Forty-five minutes into the phone call Besner said he once again knocked on the door and entered and found Natsis lying on the floor with her feet up on the toilet and still talking to her lawyer.
Besner said "seeing a posh-looking lady on the floor of a bathroom didn't seem right. I took the phone, told the lawyer the call was over, said good bye and hung up."
Phone call was 'unreasonable delay'
OPP Sgt. Terrance McIntyre told the court a day earlier police have only a limited time frame to collect blood alcohol samples and said the Natsis phone call was creating "an unreasonable delay."
Defence lawyer Michael Edelson is arguing the interruption breached his client's charter rights to legal counsel.
Minutes after Natsis's phone call ended she was given a breathalyzer test and was charged with having more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
Justice Neil Kozloff has yet to rule on whether the breathalyzer evidence is admissible in court.
Besner will again take the stand Thursday as the trial continues.