Ottawa

Christy Natsis granted bail as lawyers appeal drunk-driving conviction

The Pembroke dentist sentenced earlier this month to five years in prison for impaired and dangerous driving causing death was granted bail today as her legal team launches an appeal of her conviction.

Pembroke dentist sentenced to 5 years in prison in impaired-driving death of Bryan Casey

Christy Natsis was granted bail by the Court of Appeal for Ontario today as her new legal team appeals her conviction for impaired and dangerous driving in the 2011 death of Bryan Casey. (CBC)

The Pembroke dentist sentenced earlier this month to five years in prison for impaired and dangerous driving causing death has been granted bail as her new legal team appeals that conviction.

Christy Natsis was found guilty in May in the death of 50-year-old Bryan Casey after a lengthy trial lasting more than two years.

Justice Neil Kozloff ruled she was impaired by alcohol when, on March 31, 2011, she crashed her SUV head-on into Casey's pickup on Highway 17 near Arnrpior.

Casey later died of his injuries, leaving behind a wife and three children.

Granted bail by court of appeal

Natsis was granted bail today by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto, her lawyer Matthew Gourlay confirmed over email.

She will be freed after serving her current 40-day sentence for breaching her release conditions, said Gourlay, which happened when she bought two bottles of vodka in the months following the crash.

Natsis's next court date has not been set, he said.

Earlier this week, Natsis's new lawyers filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeal for Ontario saying that Kozloff allowed the testimony of biased expert witnesses who gave technically flawed evidence.

Specifically, the notice of appeal said a recent Supreme Court decision "that an expert who is unwilling or unable to provide 'fair, objective and non-partisan assistance' to the court cannot be permitted to testify" should apply to the testimony of OPP Const. Shawn Kelly, a technical traffic collision expert.

In October 2014, Kozloff found Kelly wasn't being objective when he met with and emailed the case's lead investigator, and while he threw out significant portions of the officer's testimony, he nevertheless ruled his technical analysis of the crash was admissible.

Natsis's new legal team wants the Court of Appeal to either acquit their client or order a new trial.

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