November 27, 2012 - 5:59 PM
UPDATE: 4:31 p.m. Nov. 27
Crown lawyer Iain Currie interrogated the accused for nearly three hours today about the events leading to the death of Kiera-Leigh Carlson. Chase Garret Donaldson, the accused, had some new things to say about the incident that didn't match his earlier statements.
Currie focused much of his examination on the outgoing and incoming phone calls made and received by Donaldson's cell phone the night of the accident. Previously, Donaldson had said he noticed a missed call from a seven digit number on his phone. He said he didn't recognize the number, and that when his wife phoned it back, it turned out to be the 911 emergency line. They said they were returning a call. Donaldson denied ever having called 911 on his cell phone.
This afternoon, Donaldson changed his story about the 911 call not once, but several times.
During his cross-examination with Currie, Donaldson admitted he had called 911 on his way home after the accident, but that he didn't remember doing it.
"I must have, it says right here," said Donaldson as his eyes skimmed the call record provided by Currie.
At one point, Donaldson said his son (now five) has accidentally called 911 before by hitting the wrong buttons, but that he himself had never done it. Later, he said he had accidentally called 911 years ago on his blackberry.
Currie insisted that Donaldson hadn't made the call by mistake.
"We know your phone called 911 at a moment when you had a very compelling reason to call 911," said Currie.
"The glove-box didn't call 911. The gear shift didn't call 911," said Currie, who earned a slap on the wrist for sarcasm from Supreme Court Justice Frank Cole.
Currie noted the times of other calls made from Donaldson's phone that night, and asked Donaldson where he had been at the times of those calls.
Donaldson's answers were inconsistent, and the witness continued to fall back on the phrase, "I don't remember," when Currie pressed him on his facts.
"This isn't a problem with your memory," said Currie. "This is a problem with your honesty."
Donaldson said he noticed two missed calls from the same number on his way home, and that he called the number back. But according to the phone record produced by Currie, the only person who called the number back was Donaldson's wife, Marcia.
"I can play the 911 call your wife made on your cell phone," said Currie. "Which will prove you just lied to the court when you said you called the number back."
Donaldson said again that he did call the number.
"Then where's the call your wife made?" asked Currie.
Donaldson fell silent for a few moments as he stared at the call history.
"I guess I did not redial that 7-digit number," said Donaldson.
Currie questioned the accused on other aspects of the accident, including its cause.
"You have known ever since it happened that the cause of this accident was another car coming at you in your lane?" asked Currie.
"It is the cause," said Donaldson, putting an end to his, and his wife's, ambiguity on the subject of why he made his fatal swerve.
On the details he provided about his driving speeds that night, and the places and ways he searched the shoulder for what had been hit, Donaldson said, "I've been thinking about that day every day since."
Currie asked the witness why, if he remembered those details so vividly, did he forget other things, like his phone call with brother-in-law Nick Hlina.
Hlina testified last week, and described what he remembered from the conversation.
Currie pointed out that the two men conveniently remembered, and forgot, the same parts of the conversation.
The trial is expected to continue tomorrow.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012