Lethbridge Herald

Fatal drunk-driving case could conclude in April

Agreed statement of facts to be presented April 16

- Delon Shurtz dshurtz@lethbridge­herald.com

A63-year-old Lethbridge man charged more than a year ago in the drunk-driving death of a Piikani Nation councillor, may finally resolve his case this spring without going to trial.

Douglas Wilbur Bagnall, who faces charges of impaired driving, impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving, was in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench Monday, where an agent for his lawyer said the charges would be resolved and an agreed statement of facts would be presented to the judge on April 16.

Bagnall, who appeared in court by closed-circuit TV from the Lethbridge Correction­al Centre, was scheduled to have a detention review Monday, but it was waived in light of the decision to wrap up the case.

Bagnall was committed to stand trial following a preliminar­y hearing in September in Lethbridge provincial court, and a trial date was to be scheduled during a subsequent hearing. That all changed last month, however, when defence announced it would likely take a different step.

Barnaby Provost was killed in June 2018 after a vehicle driving on the wrong side of Highway 3 collided with his vehicle. Provost’s 12-year-old daughter was also in the vehicle and sustained minor injuries.

Bagnall wasn’t charged until five months after the collision, and then he was released a few days later on $300 bail. He subsequent­ly failed to show up for court and breached conditions of his bail — resulting in three breach charges — and was finally arrested again at a city hotel last January.

He pleaded guilty to the breach charges and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Edmonton lawyer William Taterchuk, who asked the judge to sentence his client to only 30 days in jail, said Bagnall suffers from memory loss and several mental health issues after years of alcohol abuse. Bagnall also has an IQ of only 59.

The judge agreed with the Crown for 60 days in jail, but gave Bagnall credit for the equivalent of 60 days already spent in custody. Bagnall wasn’t released, however, but remained in remand on the driving charges.

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