Nova Scotia

Archie Billard awaits sentencing

A Halifax man who awaits sentencing on new driving related offences, nearly seven years after he struck and killed another driver, hopes he will avoid additional jail time.
Archie Billard will remain in jail while awaiting sentencing on driving-related offences. (CBC)

A Halifax man who awaits sentencing on new driving related offences, nearly seven years after he struck and killed another driver, hopes he will avoid additional jail time.

Archie Billard, 22, has admitted to driving while disqualified, breach of probation and possession of a prohibited weapon — a knife.

In 2004, Billard was convicted of dangerous driving causing the death of Theresa McEvoy, a Halifax teacher's aide.

Last fall,  Billard was released from prison after serving a 4½-year prison sentence in McEvoy's death.

Then, in January, Billard was arrested in a downtown Halifax parking lot after bumping into a police officer while reversing a car.

He has been in custody at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside since that time.

Crown attorney Rick Miller is asking the judge to send Billard to jail for two years minus the 4½ months he's already served.    

Billard was convicted of dangerous driving causing death in this 2004 accident. (CBC)

"I'm not saying that we're yet at a point where I stand up and say about Mr. Billard that we should just lock him away forever and throw away the key, because, again, he's a young individual and can rehabilitate himself," said Miller. "But he hasn't had much success in the past and, given that, we have to protect the public."

Billard's lawyer, Nicole Campbell, said he should be released.

But it's now up to Judge Anne Derrick, who said the jail time Billard is serving could be creating a lifelong criminal.

"Mr. Billard is still a young man. He's becoming institutionalized," said Derrick.

"Well again, it's a question of protecting the public from the Crown point of view. He is a young man and I do hope the he can eventually get his life together, but protection of the public is paramount in these kind of situations," said Miller.

Billlard is hoping the judge will side with him by allowing him to avoid any additional jail time after he was attacked inside the Burnside jail about a month ago.

A source tells CBC News Billard was beat up by four inmates, an apparent hit ordered because Billard had been housed in the same wing as crime lord Jimmy Melvin Jr.

Billard apologized to Derrick, saying, "I'm sorry for being in front of you. I understand what I did was wrong and take responsibility for that."

Derrick hands down her sentence next Friday.

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