Voir dire arguments heard in Taylor Kennedy trial, Saskatoon court – Saskatoon

Voir dire arguments heard in Taylor Kennedy trial, Saskatoon court - Saskatoon

Arguments were heard in Taylor Kennedy’s case in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Friday, her lawyer arguing that comments she made to police after the accident in 2021 were compelled by the officers and therefore should not be held against her.

Kennedy is charged with THC-impaired driving causing death after nine-year-old Baeleigh Maurice was killed by a pickup truck while riding her scooter across a crosswalk in Sept. 2021.

Click to play video: 'Woman accused of killing 9-year-old Baeleigh Maurice testifies in court'

Woman accused of killing 9-year-old Baeleigh Maurice testifies in court

At the crime scene, Kennedy told police she consumed marijuana and mushrooms the night prior, prompting an oral swab for THC from a drug recognition expert.

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During the defence’s closing case, Kennedy’s lawyer Thomas Hynes said her comments were compelled by police before she was read her rights and that Kennedy thought she was required to give statements by law.

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On the stand on Wednesday, Kennedy told the court she thought she had to answer all questions from police because she believed it was the law to do so when involved in an accident.

“It was the law and I had to,” she testified on Wednesday.

Hynes argued that while that is true under the Traffic Safety Act, Kennedy wasn’t told when the investigation turned from a traffic matter to a criminal investigation and wasn’t told that she had the right to stop responding to officers.

“It made no sense that Ms. Kennedy would just volunteer the information she did at the time,” Hynes said. “This court can readily conclude that her admissions to drug consumption were made under a subjective belief that she was required by law to report that consumption.”

Crown prosecutor Michael Pilon argued officers on scene didn’t ask Kennedy about drug consumption until after she had willingly given up the information on her own.

“This is stretching compellability far beyond anyone ever expected, “Pilon said.

He said that based on transcripts and officer testimonies, at no point did police tell Kennedy she was required to answer questions. Pilon argued Kennedy told police everything she did because she felt a morale obligation to do so, not because she was compelled by police.

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“She knew this collision was her fault, she said so, she knew that telling police everything was the right thing to do. She wanted to help Baeleigh,” he argued.

Pilon told Judge Jane Wootten that Kennedy’s recollection of the event is just wrong.

“She is just not reliable,” he said. “Whether that was due to her emotional state and what was happening at the scene or due to her prior drug consumption, her recollection is just not accurate.”

Wootten must decide whether Kennedy’s comments were compelled by police or not. The case will continue next week Wednesday.

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