Kirkwood trial: Different ‘versions’ of events?

In this picture from the Bosch Diagnostics website, a crash data retrieval unit is pictured. A careless driving trial has brought the versions of the software used by the Crown and defence experts into question. (Bosch Diagnostics via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – The Crown attorney in a careless driving trial is asking the court to allow the prosecution to put its traffic expert back on the witness stand.

The Crown had concluded its case on Wednesday and the defence wrapped up today (Friday).

Catriona Kirkwood, 42, of Chesterville has pleaded not guilty to a single count of careless driving in the death of Peter Remillard of Morrisburg.

In his application to the judge, Crown attorney Raphael Feldstein said the versions of software were not an issue until it was brought up in the line of questioning of defence traffic reconstruction expert Bill Jennings during the defence’s chief examination on Thursday.

Jennings was questioned about software versions and what sort of software the O.P.P. uses during its investigation.

By that time, the Crown had already had its traffic expert on the stand and had not been able to ask about software.

Arguing against the application, defence lawyer Neil Weinstein argued that the issues were not “un-discoverable” nor were they “unforeseen” — legal benchmarks for granting the recall of a witness.

Crown Feldstein fired back, calling the defence’s tactics “ridiculous” and was “wasting the court’s time” — remarks that drew a cautionary remark from Weinstein about the “language choices” of the Crown and that he was treading into questionable territory. “I hate to use the word improper,” Weinstein said.

“I’m not a crystal ball,” Crown Feldstein said, in not knowing the software would become an issue.

At issue is what versions of crash data retrieval software were used in pulling the information from the vehicles involved in the head-on collision on County Road 7 in February 2015.

The O.P.P. accident reconstruction expert had used Bosch version 14 while the defence reconstruction expert, Bill Jennings, had used Bosch version 17.1 on Kirkwood’s Dodge Journey and version 17.4 on Remillard’s BMW.

The versions could be an issue because, with software updates, there are changes in the definitions of various points of data. In this case, T-0, the point where the data stream ends and, in theory, where the impact of both vehicles begins.

Judge Karen Baum will rule on the application when court reconvenes at 1:45 p.m.

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