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Not guilty: Cape Breton man acquitted in driving death of 10-year-old girl


Chaos erupted in a Sydney, N.S., courtroom Friday morning after 30-year-old Colin Tweedie was found not guilty in the driving death of 10-year-old Talia Forrest.

Sheriffs restrained one man as he appeared to lunge at the accused, but police quickly detained him and took him away in handcuffs.

“I'm heartbroken. We just spent two-and-a-half years fighting for justice for my little sister and we're not getting it,” said Samantha Williams, Talia’s sister.

The little girl's mother was moved to tears as she left the courthouse. Her daughter died on July 11, 2019, after being struck by a vehicle in a rural part of Cape Breton while riding her bicycle with a friend.

Tweedie was found not guilty on charges of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and leaving the scene of an accident.

“No one could believe it. It's insane. We're all angry and sad,” said Williams.

In her decision Friday, Justice Mona Lynch said she accepted that Tweedie believed he hit a deer and did not know he hit a person, and based on all circumstances acquitted the accused. 

“The decision was very well done. It was very well reasoned. The decision was based on the evidence the judge heard, as opposed to any emotion or anything like that,” said Defence Lawyer Tony Mosvik.

The crown was surprised by the verdict, but knew going in there were legal issues.

“The legal issues are specific to each individual count. For example, with the over 80 charge of impaired alcohol, she was looking at the expert evidence, as well as the exact evidence of drinking surrounding the driving incident,” said Crown Attorney Nicole Campbell.

Talia's family is hoping the verdict will be appealed.

“It's devastating that Talia is not here. We don't get to see her first prom. We don't get to see her first boyfriend,” said Taylor Williams, Talia’s cousin.

The crown said they will review the decision on whether to appeal. Meanwhile, Colin Tweedie will be back in court on June 3 for sentencing on the remaining count of obstruction - a charge he pleaded guilty to at the start of the trial. Top Stories

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