Edmonton man appealing sentence for crash that killed toddler granted bail

By on March 1, 2017


An Edmonton man who is appealing his sentence to the Supreme Court for crashing his SUV onto a patio and killing a toddler has been granted bail. (Photo: Kurt Bauschardt/Flickr)
An Edmonton man who is appealing his sentence to the Supreme Court for crashing his SUV onto a patio and killing a toddler has been granted bail. (Photo: Kurt Bauschardt/Flickr)

EDMONTON—An Edmonton man who is appealing his sentence to the Supreme Court for crashing his SUV onto a patio and killing a toddler has been granted bail.

Richard Suter, 62, was initially sentenced to four months in jail along with a 30-month driving suspension after he pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath sample in a death.

The Alberta Court of Appeal raised the sentence to 26 months.

In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear his appeal of the higher sentence.

Suter’s lawyer, Dino Bottos, says Suter is expected to be released from jail on Wednesday.

Court heard Suter, a retired businessman, had been arguing with his wife while parking his vehicle in front of a Ric’s Grill in southwest Edmonton in May 2013, and mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake.

Two-year-old Geo Mounsef was having dinner with his parents and baby brother when the SUV pinned him against a wall.

Suter testified at his sentencing hearing that he had three drinks over four hours before the crash, but wasn’t drunk. The sentencing judge agreed that Suter wasn’t impaired and was given bad legal advice to refuse a breathalyzer test.

After the crash, Suter was pulled from his SUV and beaten. Months later, while awaiting trial, he was abducted from his home by three masked men and had a thumb cut off.

In its decision, the Appeal Court said it took the vigilante violence into consideration but that Suter was a mature man with life experience who made a choice not to provide a breath sample to officers after the deadly accident.

Bottos is arguing that the Appeal Court erred on several grounds, including that it found Suter shouldn’t get a lower sentence because he relied on faulty legal advice.

He wants the Supreme Court to restore Suter’s original sentence of four months.