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article imageOntario bar owners face manslaughter charges after fatal crash

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 27, 2012 in Crime
Belleville - After a four-month investigation, two Belleville, Ontario bar owners face manslaughter charges after a horrific crash on Highway 401 claimed the lives of two women.
It was Super Bowl Sunday. Like many other drinking establishments throughout North America, the Angry Beaver Bar and Grill hosted a Super Bowl party. But after the bar closed and the last patron had left the premises, the staff decided to continue the party. The servers, bartenders, and other staff spent the night sleeping at the Angry Beaver.
CNEWS reports that during the morning of Feb. 6, one of the servers woke up, went to her car, and attempted to drive home. According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Korin Howes, 23, ended up driving east in the westbound lanes of Highway 401, Canada's busiest road. Her car crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by Shaina Harrison, also 23. Both women were declared dead at the scene.
David Stoll, 33, and Phillip Sztejnmiler, 32, co-owners of the Angry Beaver, have each been charged with two counts of manslaughter arising from the deaths of the two women.
In addition to the manslaughter charges, Stoll and Sztejnmiler face numerous charges under the Liquor License Act that regulates licensed premises in Ontario. These charges include encouraging immodest consumption, permitting drunkenness, serving an apparently intoxicated person, permitting narcotics in a licensed premise, selling liquor outside of prescribed hours, and supplying alcohol free of charge.
In explaining why it took so long to lay the charges, Sgt. Kristine Rae, a spokesperson for the OPP, is quoted in the Kingston Whig-Standard as saying that investigators spent a lot of time reviewing the evidence. She said, "Because the charge is not one that's used on a regular basis, they [the investigators] did confirm with the Crown to make sure that it was the best interest to proceed."
Norm Boxall, an Ottawa criminal lawyer, told CTV News, This will send a ripple effect through persons in the hospitality industry, and perhaps even homeowners, for concern that if they serve persons to excess and those people operate a vehicle that they wouldn't just be responsible civilly...but they could be charged criminally and potentially go to jail.
Boxall also pointed out no insurance policy can protect people from being found guilty of a crime in court.
The Angry Beaver had its liquor license taken away and has been closed since the date of the accident. Stoll and Sztejnmiler are not in custody and are scheduled to appear in a Belleville courtroom on July 26.
More about Manslaughter, Drunk driving, liability of bar owners, angry beaver bar and grill
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