N.S. man pleads guilty in hit-and-run that killed military veteran
A man has pleaded guilty to three counts in connection to a hit-and-run that resulted in the death of a military veteran in Cape Breton.
Jackie Deveau, 54, had been receiving treatment for PTSD at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital when he was struck on Highway 125, just outside of the hospital in March 2017.
While the driver’s guilty plea came as a relief to Deveau’s family, they say they’re not finished with their quest for justice.
“Who would do this and why? We may never know why, but as to who… now we do know,” says the victim’s sister, Ida Lelievre.
Thomas Smith, 26, of Sydney was in court Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene, driving while disqualified, and obstruction of justice.
In exchange for the guilty pleas, two other charges were dropped.
Defence lawyer Peter Mancini says there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Smith of criminal negligence causing death following the preliminary hearing.
“Nor was there evidence to convict him of dangerous driving causing death,” says Mancini. “Those are not things that he did. There was evidence, and he accepted responsibility, for the other charges."
Smith has been remanded and is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on March 29.
Five other people have been charged with being an accessory after the fact in connection with the incident.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.