Man charged with impaired driving causing death elects judge and jury

Rosie Mullaley
Published on March 18, 2014
Anthony Hynes, stepbrother to Nicholas Coates - who was killed while riding his motorcycle last August - holds up a picture of Coates in provincial court today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A man suspected of killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk on Kenmount Road has elected to be tried by judge and jury.

Ronald Thistle was once again absent when his case was called in provincial court in St. John's this morning and was represented by his lawyer Bob Simmonds.

Simmonds told Judge Pamela Goulding they are requesting to have a preliminary inquiry.

The inquiry — which determines whether there is enough evidence to take the case to trial — has been scheduled for Sept. 8-12.

Simmonds and Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre will file statements of issues in June. A focus hearing is set for July 15.  

Thistle was arrested as a result of a motor vehicle collision in August of last year.

The 65-year-old, who was released shortly after his arrest, was said to have been driving a pickup when he pulled out of Polina Road onto Kenmount Road, causing an east-bound motorcycle to crash into the side of Thistle’s truck.

The motorcycle driver, 27-year-old Nicholas Coates, was rushed to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

Several of Coates' family and friends were again in court this morning. Coates' stepbrother Anthony Hynes was holding a picture of Coates.

Thistle has been charged with impaired driving causing death, as well as causing death by having a blood-alcohol level above the legal amount.