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Man accused in hit-and-run death of Boris Brott found guilty of dangerous driving | Globalnews.ca

The man accused in the hit-and-run death of Boris Brott has been found guilty of dangerous driving causing death.

Arsenije Lojovic, 35, was convicted on three driving charges following a justice’s decision at a Hamilton court late Monday morning.

He also was accused of failing to remain after the fatal crash on Park Street South at Markland Street April 5, 2022 and not following the terms of a probation order.

During the reading of the verdict, Justice Fred Campling recalled testimony from several witnesses during the trial who shared similar accounts of how Lojovic was erratic and “going much faster” than most drivers on the morning of the collision.

“I find that your driving, including your driving just before you hit Mr. Brott, was a marked departure from the standard of the driving required,” Campling said during his decision.

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Consistent with witness testimony, Lojovic had said during the trial that he got on the QEW from his home in Grimsby and entered Hamilton on the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

He drove up to the Lincoln Alexander Parkway and got on that thoroughfare before exiting on Upper James Street, consistent with directions given by witnesses.

He told the court he was looking for a Marshall’s store and a Walmart store at that point.

It was there that Campling began explaining the evidence portion of his decision, recounting what other drivers and bystanders saw between Upper James and the lower city.

That included a big rig driver telling the court Lojovic’s Volkswagon was closing in on his truck from behind at about 120 to 140 kilometres per hour.

Meanwhile, another driver testified Lojovic was “manoeuvring in order to go much faster than other traffic on the road.”

“To get by the northbound traffic, he saw you run multiple red lights as you were approaching the Rymal Road intersection,” Campling explained.

“He also mentioned that you forced a white pickup truck on the shoulder with your dangerous manoeuvres.”

Another witness insisted Lojovic almost hit a median and was seen wearing earbud headphones and flicking a cigarette while travelling down the Claremont Access.

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Prior to Campling’s decision, Lojovic’s counsel Mary Murphy contested his dangerous driving charge, saying the incident was an accident spurred on by a distraction from another vehicle.

She went on to submit that the driving at the point of the fatality did not meet criminal standards.

But Campling said the witnesses’ testimony, which included a pair of police officers, and surveillance video “negated” any evidence that there was any distraction just before Lojovic hit Brott, a celebrated conductor.

Lojovic took the stand in his own defence during hearings and suggested he had a history of bipolar disorder and alcoholism.

The defendant insisted he had recurrent manic episodes that sometimes manifested as erratic driving.

A psychiatrist, testifying for the defence, said Lojovic had been hospitalized on occasion after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011.

Lojovic admitted to having previously been convicted of impaired driving in 2009 and dangerous driving in 2020.

He was given a conditional discharge with a licence suspension after pleading guilty to the 2020 incident.

After Monday’s decision, Murphy sought the relevancy of her client undergoing an assessment under Section 672.11 of the Criminal Code, determining if the accused was unfit to stand trial or suffering from a mental disorder to be exempt from criminal responsibility.

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However, Campling opted not to agree to that assessment, saying counsel failed to raise a not criminally responsible defence (NCR) during the trial and that it might be an attempt for a better outcome, post-decision.

“You, with legal advice, might have thought the eventual sentence (would) be better for you than the indefinite sentence that results from a finding of not criminally responsible,” Campling suggested.

Crown and counsel are expected to return for the sentencing phase of Lojovic’s trial on Aug. 31.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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