Supreme Court denies Berner appeal
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by Carol Berner, who was convicted in the 2008 drunk-driving death of toddler Alexa Middelaer.
Berner, found guilty in July 2010 of two counts of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm and two counts of impaired driving causing death and bodily harm, had applied to the country's highest court to reverse the conviction.
Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court of Canada announced Berner’s application was “dismissed without costs.”
Last November, the B.C. Court of Appeal had dismissed Berner’s case there.
Berner’s lawyers argued the trial judge had erred in finding the destruction of Berner’s Oldsmobile by ICBC, before the defence could have it independently inspected for mechanical defects didn’t infringe on her right to make a full defence.
They also argued Berner was found guilty despite a lack of evidence of impairment, and that she had not been advised of her right to counsel before her tape-recorded statement was taken.
On May 17, 2008, four-year-old Alexa – who attended preschool in Crescent Beach – was feeding a horse in Ladner, when Berner struck and killed her. Alexa’s aunt was also seriously injured.
Berner was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and banned from driving for five years, but has so far served just days in custody.
Tomorrow (Thursday) the B.C. Court of Appeal is to hear Berner’s sentencing appeal.