Darcy Allan Sheppard – A life’s last moments

August 31, 2010

Mess Media, December 7, 2009

Darcy Allan Sheppard

Darcy Allan Sheppard

On August 31, 2009, former attorney general for Ontario, Michael Bryant, killed cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard in one of the most violent and horrific cases of road rage in Toronto’s history.

Neither Michael Bryant nor his wife, entertainment lawyer Susan Abramovitch, gave statements to police regarding the circumstances that led to Darcy Allan Sheppard’s death. They will have many months to tailor their testimonies to fit the known evidence and weave it seamlessly into a vigorous defense mounted by one of the most elite criminal lawyers in the country.

Bryant’s victim, Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was known as Al to his friends, will not have a voice at the trial. He will not have an opportunity to challenge Michael Bryant’s carefully scripted and rehearsed testimony. He will not have a chance to correct Bryant’s devoted wife and an experienced lawyer when she unconditionally supports her husband of twelve years on the witness stand.

Al’s voice needs to be heard. It’s important that people have an opportunity to understand his life’s last moments. Al could have been any one of us. He just happened to be the cyclist who crossed paths with a driver on the verge of a road rage meltdown.

I have attempted to rebuild those last moments of Al’s life from his point of view. All of the events are based on the factual evidence contained in security camera video, witness statements and news reports. Al’s point of view is also primarily based on the factual evidence as well as my own experiences as a bike messenger and cyclist.

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Bryant’s charges dropped but PR continues

June 21, 2010

There is a story in the Toronto Media Co-op about Navigator’s campaign on behalf of Michael Bryant

Special Prosecutor and PR Firm Navigator Involved in Other High-profile Scandals

Toronto Media Co-op, June 20, 2010

by GEORDIE GWALGEN DENT,

Toronto – Outcries of public rage met the announcement that Michael Bryant would not be charged in the death of Darcy Allen Sheppard, a Metis bike courier from Toronto.

Richard Peck, the special prosecutor assigned to the Bryant/Sheppard case, says that the public interest could not have been taken into account in his decision not to prosecute the former Provincial Minister.

“It doesn’t work that way,” said Peck in response to claims that he should have proceeded with charges in the public interest of accountability. “The responsibility on Crown Council is to review the case and see if it meets the threshold for prosecution. The public interest cannot trump the fact that case does not meet the threshold for prosecution…it’s in the Crown Council policy manual. If you don’t have a provable case, you can’t proceed.”

Peck has remained a popular appointment with Provincial governments. He has now been appointed to asses whether charges should be laid against the officers who killed Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant killed after police tasered him five times 30 seconds after confronting him.

A previous statement from the BC criminal justice branch released by Stan Lowe, stated that they unanimously believed that criminal charges against the 4 officers were not necessary. Lowe was appointed as the BC Police Complaints Commissioner two weeks later.

Bryant’s car can be seen on public surveillance video (see below) striking Sheppard and then driving off with Sheppard attached to his car, yet the defendant claims that Sheppard attempted to attack him before he drove off in his car, killing Sheppard.

Read the rest of this story at the Toronto Media Co-op


The Peck Brief – Advocate for the Defence Part 1

May 27, 2010

Mess Media, May 27, 2010

Darcy Allan Sheppard and Michael Bryant

On May 25, 2010, special prosecutor Richard Peck announced that all charges against former Attorney General Michael Bryant would be dropped ruling that “there is no reasonable prospect for conviction in relation to either of the charges before the Court.”

Bryant had been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death in relation to the death of cyclist Darcy Allan (AL) Sheppard after a traffic altercation on August 31, 2009.

Most cases end with the ruling of a judge or jury but this case ended with the ruling of a single criminal defence lawyer acting as an independent prosecutor.

Peck released an eleven page brief analyzing some of the evidence and justifying his decision to drop the charges without a preliminary hearing of the evidence. His brief answered few questions but also raised many more.

We have separated Peck’s brief into the two parts. Part one focuses on the initial incident where Bryant’s vehicle rammed into Sheppard. Part two will begin where Sheppard grabbed on to the vehicle.

Summary

An analysis of Richard Peck’s brief reveals that he relied heavily on the unchallenged statements of Michael Bryant to come his decision to drop the charges. Peck cherry picked evidence to support Bryant’s claims and either suppressed or ignored alternative evidence that challenged Bryant’s version of the events.

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Michael Bryant’s case put over until April 14.

March 5, 2010

Bryant did not appear. Disclosure is now complete.

Michael Bryant was a no-show in court once again today but the criminal case against him continues to move forward. Bryant’s lawyer, Marie Henein received the police reconstructionist report which is the final major piece of disclosure.

Mark Sandler appeared for the Crown before Justice Paul Bently at the Old City Hall Court. The case was put over until April 14.

Now that disclosure is complete Bryant will elect how he wishes to be tried. He may choose to be tried in the Ontario Court of Justice in front of a judge only, or in the higher court, the Superior Court in front of a judge alone or a judge and jury.

Bryant is the former attorney general for Ontario who worked closely with Crown prosecutors and judges. Independent prosecutor, Richard Peck, from Bryant’s home province of British Columbia will represent the Crown in the criminal trial.

Bryant has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death in relation to the death of cyclist Darcy Allan (AL) Sheppard after a traffic altercation on August 31, 2009.

Video evidence shows Bryant deliberately rammed his car into Sheppard from behind before attempting to flee the scene of the attack. Sheppard grabbed on to his car and Bryant fled with Sheppard attached.

Witnesses then say that Bryant sped away at about 90 km/hr on the wrong side of the road. He mounted the curb and intentionally drove into obstacles to knock Sheppard off his car. Sheppard died from the resulting multiple collisions.


The Facts of the Michael Bryant Case so far

December 9, 2009

Mess Media, December 9, 2009

Former Ontario attorney-general Michael Bryant has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death in relation to the death of cyclist Darcy Allan (AL) Sheppard after a traffic altercation on August 31, 2009.

Much has been written about the case as it continues to wind its way through the justice system but here is a summary of the facts of the case so far.

The surveillance video shows Bryant pull to a stop at a red light. Then we see Sheppard pass Bryant and stop in front of Bryant’s car at the red light. We don’t know if any altercation happened before the video begins but neither Bryant not Sheppard exchanged words or seemed enraged or threatened at this time.

The video then shows the light change to green. Sheppard has his back turned to Bryant. Sheppard doesn’t move so Bryant twice moved his car toward Sheppard. The two seem to exchange words and then Bryant deliberately rammed his car into Sheppard, knocking him to the ground.

The key piece of video evidence shows that Michael Bryant was the aggressor. It factually documents his deliberate attack on Sheppard.

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Bryant’s lawyers meeting behind closed doors for pre-trial November 30

November 29, 2009

Michael Bryant was a no show for his first two court appearances on October 19 and November 16.

Provincial Court Justice Paul Bentley, will meet behind closed doors with the all parties for a judicial pre-trial on November 30.

Bryant’s next court date is December 7, 2009. Torontonians are anxiously awaiting his first appearance in court.

Michael Bryant was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death after running over and dragging cyclist, Darcy Allan Sheppard, on August 31, 2009.