Family of victim in alleged hit-and-run frustrated with court delays
The family of a retired military veteran who was struck and killed in an alleged hit-and-run say they’re frustrated with the conflicts in the court proceedings.
Jackie Deveau, 54, was struck by a vehicle while walking across Cape Breton’s Highway 125 in March. Thomas Smith, 26, is charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident, dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death while texting.
Deveau’s sister, Ida Lelievre, says she lives with the memory of how he died every day.
“We go forward one day at a time,” says Lelievre. “Sometimes one hour at a time. But we can't not go forward.”
Court proceedings have been prolonged while the accused looks for a lawyer.
“Presumably they are potential Crown witnesses. If any lawyer has represented anyone of those, that would raise a potential conflict,” says duty counsel Mike Kuna.
It took weeks for RCMP to locate the vehicle that was allegedly involved in the collision.
“For us it's mind boggling as to how so many people were drawing in or involved or pulled in, or decided to be part of this in some way, shape or form,” says Lelievre.
The accused’s mother, 56-year-old Norma Francis MacNeil, is facing charges of accessory after the fact and obstruction of justice.
The numerous conflicts in the court dates are taking their toll on the victim’s family.
“It's a bit more than frustrating,” says Lelievre. “I don't have the exact words for it, but it's like we're forced to relive this every time Mr. Smith gets a new court date.”
CTV News has learned there are additional charges pending against Smith and MacNeil, and possibly against others.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.