Co-accused in death of New Harbour teen plead not guilty
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.
Hannah Thorne died on July 7, 2016 following a two-vehicle collision on the New Harbour Barrens.
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.