Goosman case to go to trial

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, March 5 2019

Will Goosman is electing for a BC Supreme Court trial by judge, this after appearing in Provincial Court in Nanaimo on Tuesday, March 5.

Goosman is charged with dangerous driving causing death, having been the driver of a vehicle which struck and killed Gabriolan Jay Dearman on January 24, 2018.

Dearman had been jogging eastbound on the north side of Berry Point Road, just east of Twin Beaches Mall, when the eastbound van driven by Goosman crossed the road and hit him.

Dearman was a member of the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department. His widow Suzanne, their friends, as well as a number of the Gabriola firefighters were present in the courtroom on March 5.

After hearing that the case would be going to trial, Suzanne said, “We’re disappointed with the fact that because there isn’t a guilty plea, this is going to go on for so much longer than it has to. Life is very difficult right now, I am still trying to come to terms with what happened to Jay. We were together since high school, so it’s hard without him. 

“Rather than allowing the healing process to progress, the bandaid just keeps getting ripped off the wound every time there is another postponement.”

Fire Chief Rick Jackson said, “I believe the manoeuvring to escape responsibility for his actions is reprehensible, but not surprising, given all the factors. It’s truly sad that he can’t just man up and own his actions, instead of only furthering the anguish to Jay’s friends and family.”

Lawyer Michael Ritzker, appearing on behalf of Goosman, told the court he had only received Goosman’s file the week before, and needed time to prepare for a focus hearing which would then be used to fix a date for the preliminary hearing.

The focus hearing is scheduled for March 19 in the Nanaimo Courthouse. Crown and defense representatives will go over potential witness lists as well as the investigation file to determine how much time will be needed for trial.

Goosman has filed a Counsel Designation Notice, pursuant to s.650.01 of the Criminal Code. This section permits a lawyer to appear on behalf of an accused for certain types of appearances without requiring the accused to be present.

Generally speaking, with such a notice filed, an accused person is not required to attend interim appearances, but he or she must attend any part of the proceedings in which the evidence of a witness is taken.