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Wengenmayr waits to learn his fate

The family of a Kelowna man convicted of impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm will have to wait a little while longer before learning his fate.

Cody Richard Wengenmayr had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit when he struck and killed six-year-old Trey Alphonse and injured his mother, Iris Alphonse, as the two jaywalked across six lanes of traffic on Highway 97, the night of Aug. 30, 2010.

BC Supreme Court Justice Gregory Bowden reserved his decision Tuesday, calling the matter of sentencing in a case of this kind “challenging” and something he must put “a great deal of thought” into. However, he continued by saying that he realizes Wengenmayr must go to jail, but the question is for how long.

Dressed all in black, Wengenmayr read a short letter to the victim and her family, who were not in court.

In it, he apologized to the Alphonse family for all of the pain and suffering that he caused and said he cannot begin to understand their pain. He regretted the “stupid choice” he made that night and said it was one he will never make again. Wengenmayr then apologized to his own family, saying it’s not fair for them to go through this either.

Crown and defence asked for drastically different sentences during their submissions. Crown counsel David Ruse is seeking three to four years in prison, while defence counsel David Johnson has asked for a sentence of 90 days, to be served intermittently since Wengenmayr has no prior criminal record, or a sentence no longer than one year.  That would be followed by a heavy dose of probation and community service.

Ruse countered that even though Wengenmayr’s blood alcohol was only slightly above the limit – he blew .09 two hours after the accident – he was also stopped by police 40 days before the incident took place and blew a warning during a roadside breathalyzer test. Ruse says according to Wengenmayr’s drivers license, he is not supposed to ever have alcohol in his system as a novice driver.

All parties will reconvene next week to fix a date for sentencing.

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