Case # 35531
Her Majesty the Queen v. Jeffrey Kevin Leinen (March 21, 2014)
The respondent was convicted of second degree murder and aggravated assault. The respondent drove his truck into a crowd of people gathered outside a bar where he had been drinking. In doing so, the respondent killed one person and injured another. At trial, the respondent claimed that his acceleration into the crowd was an involuntary panic response. The respondent argued in the alternative that what happened was an accident, and that he had no intention of killing or injuring anyone. The respondent was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated assault. The respondent appealed his convictions. A majority of the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, quashed the convictions and ordered a new trial. In its view, the trial judge failed to properly instruct the jury on the legal significance of the panic attack defence. At issue is whether the jury instructions on intent and accident were adequate.