A guilty verdict was handed down in Weyburn Provincial Court last week in a case of assault causing bodily harm, as well as an impaired driving charge.
Last Tuesday, Judge Michelle Brass found Denny Herring guilty of the assault charge, as well as having a blood alcohol level over the legal limit within two hours of driving. The trial had started on December 7th of last year, and wrapped up on March 24th, with the verdict handed down last week.
The incident happened on July 28th of last year. Court heard testimony that Herring had left the fairground in Weyburn, and had nearly struck a vehicle. He was then seen to be swerving. The victim of the assault followed Herring, and when Herring pulled over, a confrontation happened.
During the confrontation, Herring punched the victim in the face, got back into his truck, and drove off. The incident had been seen by paramedics on the scene, who treated the victim at the scene. When the police arrived the victim and his stepson accompanied them back to the police station to provide statements.
Shortly afterwards, Herring himself showed up at the police station and was taken into custody. Inside the station, Herring was also placed under arrest for impaired driving. Two breath samples, taken 20 minutes apart, showed blood alcohol levels of 160mg and 150mg in 100ml of blood.
On the day of the incident, Herring told police he had two beers before going to the station. At the trial, he testified that the reason for the elevated levels was he had quickly consumed eight beers after arriving home after the incident on the street with the victim, stating he had nothing to drink prior to driving.
Herring also testified that he had struck the victim in self-defence.
In the verdict, the judge did not find the defence of self-defence to be valid, as the victim had turned away from Herring when he was struck in the face, accepting the evidence that the punch was thrown within seconds of the victim approaching Herring.
Voluntary comments made by Herring while he was at the police station that he had to teach a lesson to the victim for trying to be a tough guy were also considered in determining guilt, according to the decision.
The defence that Herring had consumed the alcohol between the time of the incident and arriving at the police station was also dismissed by the judge. She noted there was no evidence presented on the amount of alcohol consumed before walking to the police station aside from the testimony. It was also noted that the amount of alcohol consumed changed between the initial statements given to police, and the trial itself.
The sentencing on the two charges is scheduled for Weyburn Provincial Court on August 23rd.