Co-ac­cused in death of New Har­bour teen plead not guilty

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Two men ac­cused of caus­ing the death of an 18-year-old girl from New Har­bour through an ac­ci­dent al­legedly linked to street rac­ing are plead­ing not guilty.

Brian Robert King and Steven Ryan Mercer were charged last Au­gust with crim­i­nal neg­li­gence in the op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle caus­ing death, crim­i­nal neg­li­gence in the op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle caus­ing bod­ily harm, street rac­ing caus­ing death, street rac­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm and breach of pro­ba­tion.

Han­nah Thorne died July 7, 2016 fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with a ve­hi­cle that po­lice said King was driv­ing. It’s al­leged that King and Mercer were rac­ing each other at the time.

Thorne was a pas­sen­ger in the ve­hi­cle driven by her grand­mother, who was in­jured but sur­vived the ac­ci­dent on the New Har­bour Bar­rens.

Mercer was not in court last Wed­nes­day, while King ap­peared by vide­olink from Her Majesty’s Pen­i­ten­tiary in St. John’s. Both men were ini­tially granted bail in Au­gust, but King was back in cus­tody weeks later for al­legedly breach­ing con­di­tions of his re­lease and de­nied bail.

In Har­bour Grace Pro­vin­cial Court on Wed­nes­day, lawyers Randy Piercey and Michael Ralph en­tered the elections for a trial in pro­vin­cial court.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Richard De­veau said the trial would in­volve eight civil­ian wit­nesses, as well as po­lice of­fi­cers and ex­perts. The seven-day trial will be­gin Oct. 2.

Ralph, who is rep­re­sent­ing King, also in­di­cated his client is pre­pared to plead guilty to charges laid in Septem­ber re­lated to the al­leged breach of his re­lease con­di­tion. That mat­ter is set for speedy dis­po­si­tion March 23.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Han­nah Thorne died on July 7, 2016 fol­low­ing a two-ve­hi­cle col­li­sion on the New Har­bour Bar­rens.

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTOS

Brian King, left, and Steven Mercer were ar­rested last Au­gust, less than two months after po­lice re­sponded to the scene of a fa­tal ac­ci­dent on the New Har­bour Bar­rens.

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