June 18, 2016 - 10:30 AM
VANCOUVER - British Columbia's highest court has granted bail to a man who recklessly drove his speedboat into a houseboat on Shuswap Lake, leaving one person dead and several others injured.
Leon Reinbrecht, 54, was granted bail in the B.C. Court of Appeal following a hearing in Vancouver on Friday. He has been in custody since June 2, when he was sentenced to three years in prison.
He was convicted on one count each of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm following a trial last year.
Houseboat operator Ken Brown was killed on July 3, 2010 when Reinbrecht's speedboat plowed into the vessel following a post-Canada Day fireworks display on Magna Bay.
Brown's sister Lorraine Tomalty said she's disappointed that Reinbrecht is appealing the conviction.
"He just can't take responsibility for what he's done. How long can somebody tie up the system? It's ridiculous."
The lake was busy and dark, B.C. Supreme Court heard during the trial, and witnesses said they saw Reinbrecht's boat pulling donuts and U-turns while speeding close to shore.
Brown was at the helm of his houseboat when Reinbrecht's speedboat slammed into it nearly head on. He died at the scene and people on both boats suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
A date for Reinbrecht's appeal hearing has not yet been set.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016