Federal prison sentence recommended for driver in deadly Shuswap houseboat crash

Image Credit: Shutterstock

KAMLOOPS - The man behind a deadly speedboat crash on Shuswap Lake nearly six years ago appears to be headed for prison, but a Kamloops Supreme Court Judge will wait to decide how long Leon Reinbrecht will spend behind bars.

Crown is asking for 2.5 to 3.5 years for criminal negligence while the defence is asking for two years, Judge Sheri Donegan heard this morning, June 1. Reinbrecht is expected to be sentenced tomorrow afternoon.

Prosecutor Neil Flanagan compared criminal negligence to a “continuum.” On one side, there are people who commit the offence after assessing the risks, and on the other side are people who commit the offence while being oblivious to potential risks.

“Mr. Reinbrecht could not have been aware of the extreme danger he was causing by the way he was operating the vehicle,” Flanagan told the courtroom.

In closing statements, Crown also asked that Reinbrecht receive a five-year ban on operating a vehicle in addition to time served. 

Defence lawyer Joe Doyle said the period of incarceration was likely inconsequential to Reinbrecht. Whether it’s two years or five years, it’s enough to make a big impact on a usually law-abiding citizen.

Reinbrecht was convicted last October of two counts of criminal negligence, one causing bodily harm, the other causing death. He was speeding and weaving across Shuswap Lake before crashing head-on with a houseboat and remained lodged in the vessel. He appeared in Kamloops Supreme Court this morning in front of the family of Ken Brown, the man killed in the crash.

Brown's sister, Patti Oliver, was disappointed the sentencing wasn't read today.

"It is what it is," Oliver said. "I wouldn't miss tomorrow for anything."

The incident happened nearly six years ago, on July 3, 2010. Reinbrecht had his 16-year-old son and the boy’s friend on board his boat.

Last month, Donegan denied an application by Reinbrecht to toss the case because of unreasonable court delays.

- This story was updated at 3:50 p.m. on June 1, 2016 with new information from Kamloops Supreme Court.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 


letters-to-the-editor
ALBAS: Unpacking the Cannabis Act
  OPINION Editor, Last week the Liberal Government introduced the much anticipated Marijuana legalization bill, technically known as Bill C-45 “The Cannabis Act”. First let me state that the Liberals c
mark-walker
WALKER: Inventory low in Kelowna Real estate market
  OPINION The latest numbers from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reveal that inventory (homes on the market) remains low when compared with 2016 and 2015. This is particularly evident when looking at pr

Top News