Fal­lows fires his lawyer

The Barrie Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - TRACY MCLAUGH­LIN

Fam­ily mem­bers of a young Oril­lia woman who was killed by a drunk driver were frus­trated and an­gry Tues­day after the man who was con­victed sud­denly fired his lawyer on the day he was to be sen­tenced at the Bar­rie court­house.

Last Au­gust, fol­low­ing his trial, a jury found An­drew Fal­lows, 28, of Se­bright, guilty of im­paired driv­ing caus­ing death, driv­ing over 80 caus­ing death, dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a ve­hi­cle caus­ing death and crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing the death of 18-year-old Shania Slater.

Fal­lows was driv­ing with al­most three times the le­gal limit of al­co­hol in his blood when he ca­reened into a con­crete di­vider on High­way 11 in Oro-Me­donte Town­ship at about 3 a.m., Oct. 4, 2014.

He also had no li­cence or in­surance and he has a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for im­paired driv­ing.

The jury heard Fal­lows moved Slater’s body as she lay dy­ing so he could take her place in the pas­sen­ger seat to try to avoid be­ing charged.

Fam­ily mem­bers filled the court Tues­day, ready to read vic­tim im­pact state­ments on how Slater’s death has af­fected their lives.

Some fam­ily mem­bers trav­elled from Bramp­ton to be there, but as they sat in court wait­ing, Fal­lows an­nounced to the judge he had fired his lawyer, caus­ing gasps in the court­room.

“This is just some sort of a joke … a de­lay tac­tic,” one up­set fam­ily mem­ber said.

Defence lawyer Egin­hart Eh­lers ap­peared sur­prised at his client’s last-minute de­ci­sion to fire him.

“I have new coun­sel in mind,” Fal­lows told the judge as he stood in the pris­oner’s box in hand­cuffs.

Jus­tice John McCarthy re­luc­tantly agreed to al­low Fal­lows time to hire a new lawyer, which will be through le­gal aid.

“The mat­ter will pro­ceed Nov. 3 whether or not you are rep­re­sented,” the judge warned.

The Crown at­tor­ney will be seek­ing a prison sen­tence of eight to 10 years.


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