TORONTO – Linda O’Leary has pleaded not guilty to the death of two people in a boat accident in central Ontario two years ago.
O’Leary, wife of celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary, was found not guilty of one charge of reckless operation of a ship under the Canada Shipping Act.
The verdict was delivered this morning at a hearing in Parry Sound, Ontario, which was also broadcast live.
Linda O’Leary was on top when it collided with another ship on Joseph Lake, north of Toronto, on August 24, 2019.
The couple and a family friend were returning to their hut from a dinner party in another hut when the incident happened.
Two people on the other boat – Gary Poltash, 64, from Florida and Susanna Brito, 48, from Uxbridge, Ont. – He died of his injuries. Three others were also injured.
O’Leary’s defense attorney, Brian Greenspan, argued that his client should be granted sanction because there was evidence that the lights of the second boat were off at the time of the incident, rendering it essentially “invisible”. .
Justice Richard Humphrey said in his ruling on Tuesday that he found that the other boat did not have its own navigational lights at the time of the accident to allow passengers to stare.
Reading out the verdict, Humphrey also said he rejected the suggestion that O’Leary was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
A police officer told the court during the trial that O’Leary recorded an “alert range” blood alcohol level in a breath test shortly after the accident.
The officer testified that O’Leary told him he only had one drink but that it was after the accident.
The judge also said that there was insufficient evidence to determine at what speed O’Leary was traveling at the time of the accident, or what speed would have been appropriate.
With files from the Canadian Press.