The verdict date for Travis-Squire-Hill of Ohsweken, who stands accused in the death of Gwen Martin of Six Nations and William Harris of Hagersville, was delayed at the last minute and will now take place on September 5. Squire-Hill has pled not-guilty to all charges: two counts of criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle causing death, criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, two counts of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, failure to remain at the scene of an accident, driving while disqualified and theft of a motor vehicle.
On a mild winter night on December 3, 2012, Adam Bain, 19, of Hagersville, Yegwenyes ‘Gwen’ Martin, 18, of Ohsweken and William Harris, 15, of Hagersville were traveling westbound on 4th Line Road. Bain and Martin were on an all-terrain vehicle, owned and operated by Bain. Harris was riding a dirt bike and was being followed by Bain’s ATV. Near the vicinity of 4th Line Road and Tuscarora Road, a white pick-up truck, allegedly driven by Squire-Hill, collided with the ATV and the dirt bike. Martin and Harris both succumbed to their injuries.
Squire-Hill, 43, has pled not-guilty and chose to proceed without a jury. Although he was not arrested at the scene of the crime, eyewitness testimony placed him in the area at the time the accident took place. One Six Nations woman testified during the first week of trial that she has known Squire-Hill for years and she lived a short distance down the road from where the accident took place. She explained to the court that Squire-Hill showed up at her house in a similar vehicle that was involved in the accident. She stated that he was inebriated and smelled of alcohol. After telling him she did not want to get into his vehicle as he asked, and that she did not want him to come into her house, as he also asked, he then left. The witness then stated that within a few minutes of him driving off in the direction in which the accident took place, she had heard via social media that there was a bad accident down the road from her house and that the road had been blocked off.
However, by the time the police showed up to the scene, the driver and any alleged occupants of the vehicle responsible in the crash had left the scene of the accident.
Gwen’s mother Tanya Martin explained to the Two Row Times her disappointment in learning of the further delay in the trial. “I had to let people know that the verdict date had been changed from (last) Friday to September 5. I feel bad for everyone who booked time off from their jobs to attend the verdict,” stated Martin.
The trial has now wrapped up and has heard from at least 15 eyewitness testimonies including an accident reconstructionist. Squire-Hill must now rely on Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Honourable James R.H. Turnbull to decide whether there is enough evidence to convict him.
This means that Gwen, William and Adam’s family and friends must wait another month in an already seemingly endless trial that has seen several breaks throughout, for the judge to bring down a verdict. Gwen’s mom explains, “At this point I’m not holding my breath. To wait until September 5th for the verdict and then to have to wait who knows how much longer after that for the sentencing date, assuming he’s found guilty. I’m livid to say the least.”
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