Officer found guilty in B.C. ferry-sinking to appeal conviction
Published Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:38PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:16PM EDT
VANCOUVER - The officer found guilty in the sinking of the Queen of the North ferry will appeal his conviction in the deaths of two passengers aboard the vessel.
In a verdict handed down Monday, a jury convicted Karl Lilgert of criminal negligence causing death when the vessel struck an island off British Columbia's north coast and sank in March 2006.
Lilgert's lawyer, Glen Orris, said Tuesday he believes the trial judge made errors when instructing the jury.
"I think they deal primarily with describing the elements the Crown has to prove with criminal negligence causing death."
He said the jury seemed to have wrestled hard with the issues before them while they deliberated for six days.
"I think some of the legal issues that were explained to them weren't explained correctly in my view so we'll let the appeal court take a look at them."
The appeal must be filed within 30 days. Lilgert is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21.
Lilgert testified he was navigating the ferry the best he could in rough weather when the ship missed a critical course change and slammed into Gil Island off the north coast.
The Crown argued that would not have happened if Lilgert had been paying attention to the ship's course.
Passengers Gerald Foisy and Shirley Rosette died in the sinking.
Lilgert's defence lawyers said the collision was the result of a combination of factors beyond Lilgert's control, including poor training, unreliable equipment, inadequate staffing policies on the ship and bad weather.
While Lilgert told the jury he was doing his best to navigate the ship and he couldn't explain why the ferry struck the island.