BRANTFORD ‑ Those affected by the 2010 collision that killed two Six Nations youth and injured four others will have to wait a little longer for closure after last Thursday’s sentencing hearing of Keith Jonathan, 58, in Brantford’s Superior Court.
Crown attorney David King called the horrific crash, “totally avoidable in an age when everyone knows drinking and driving is wrong.” King is seeking a sentence term of six to seven years for Jonathan.
The sentencing was adjourned to Feb. 5th when the defense will complete its submissions and the Judge will give his ruling on sentencing on Feb. 12th.
Jonathan was convicted of two counts of impaired driving causing death, four counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, two counts of having a blood-alcohol reading over 80 milligrams, causing an accident that led to death, and four other counts of causing an accident resulting in bodily harm.
About 3:00 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2010, on Third Line Road near Chiefswood Road, Jonathan turned his pickup truck into the path of a car driven by Philip Martin. Joshua Farnham, 21, of Ohsweken, and Samantha Lee Henry-Thomas, 18, of Brantford, both passengers in the car, died at the scene while four other occupants were injured.
“I’ll never have what others take for granted. I’ll never hold a grandchild of my own,” said Bernadette Shoflay. Joshua Farnham, her only child, died in the crash.
She told the court of the agonizing wait for justice.
“It’s been an eternity for this trial to conclude,” Shoflay told Justice Thomas Lofchik, “The bleeding and sense of loss is just as fresh as when Joshua was killed.”
Jonathan held an Eagle feather while giving testimony in the trial as a sign of truthfulness, but Shoflay could not bring herself to accept the gesture as real.
“To see you hold that eagle feather, you hold our beliefs up to ridicule because you lied,” Shoflay said.
Jonathan’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash would have been between 205 milligrams and 269 milligrams. Eighty milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood is the legal limit for drivers.
Martin was also under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision and was convicted earlier of two counts of impaired driving causing death, four counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and one count of breach of recognizance. He was sentenced in 2013 to six years in prison, less five months of time served.