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Quebec judge refuses cop's request to dismiss charge in death of 5-year-old boy

LONGUEUIL, Que. — A Quebec provincial police officer will have to stand trial in the death of a five-year-old boy.

Patrick Ouellet filed a motion asking that a charge of dangerous driving causing death be dropped but a judge refused his request Tuesday.

Nicholas Thorne-Belance died in hospital a few days after the crash in February 2014 involving his father's car and an unmarked police cruiser that was speeding during a surveillance mission in Longueuil, south of Montreal.

Ouellet was driving at more than 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

His motion alleged that Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee interfered in the case.

The Crown initially decided to not lay charges but the single charge was filed against Ouellet in 2015 after Vallee discussed the matter with the director of Quebec's criminal and public prosecutions office.

Quebec court Judge Denys Noel ruled Tuesday there was no interference on Vallee's part and that the kind of discussions she had with Annick Murphy were "appropriate."

"One cannot infer from the evidence that the minister ordered the director (to file the charge)," he said.

"There is no evidence of abuse of procedure that would allow for the proceedings to be dropped."

Ouellet's trial is scheduled for June.


The Canadian Press

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