Jun 24, 2010 - JUDGE BEGINS DELIBERATIONS IN CAROL BERNER TRIAL [Alexa Middelaer]


A B.C. judge is now deciding whether Carol Berner is guilty of dangerous and impaired driving in the 2008 death of a four-year-old girl.


She faces four charges in the death of Alexa Middelaer, who was killed when she was struck by Berner's car while standing on the side of a quiet Delta road on May 17, 2008. Her aunt was also seriously injured.

Defence and Crown lawyers finished their closing submissions in Surrey provincial court on Thursday afternoon, and Judge Peder Gulbransen is now deliberating.

A day earlier, Gulbransen dismissed the defence's application to have the charges against Berner stayed. Her lawyers had argued the car she was driving at the time of the crash was destroyed before they could examine it.

During the trial, the court heard evidence from an extensive undercover operation in which an agent befriended Berner over drinks, a Madonna concert and a trip to Vancouver Island.

It was on that trip, six months after the crash, that Berner told the officer a little girl had died in what she described as an accident.

The agent later secretly videotaped a conversation in which Berner admitted that she drank at least three glasses of wine before the crash and may have been driving too fast.

A verdict in the trial is expected on July 27.

Meanwhile, Berner's son is facing charges of his own. Joshua Berner is awaiting trial for second-degree murder in the 2009 stabbing death of 23-year-old Benjamin Warland. That trial is scheduled to begin in September in B.C. Supreme Court.

Source: CTV News BC


 

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