Jury quickly acquits RCMP constable on charge of dangerous driving

Mountie found not guilty

Court exhibit

UPDATE: 3:28 p.m.

It took a jury less than three hours of deliberations Monday to find a Kamloops Mountie not guilty of dangerous driving.

Kamloops RCMP Supt. Jeff Pelley was the first to shake Const. Christopher Squire’s hand outside court following the verdict, which followed a two-week B.C. Supreme Court trial. Pelley congratulated Squire on the verdict.

Squire was charged with dangerous driving for his actions behind the wheel of an unmarked police vehicle during a Dec. 8, 2018, high-speed chase that reached speeds of 140 km/h on Westsyde Road.

Pelley was one of nine uniformed Mounties in court for the jury’s decision, which came at about 3:15 p.m. on Monday. Jurors began their deliberations at about 12:30 p.m.

Each of the officers shook Squire’s hand and congratulated him outside the courtroom. One embraced him in a hug and another joked about seeing him back at work in the morning.

ORIGINAL STORY: 12:33 p.m.

A 12-person jury is now deliberating the fate of a Kamloops Mountie accused of driving dangerously during a 2018 high-speed chase on Westsyde Road.

Now that RCMP Const. Christopher Squire’s jury is out, Castanet Kamloops can report some of the things that happened during the trial while jurors were not within earshot.

The 33-year-old officer’s trial got underway in B.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 27 and testimony wrapped up last Tuesday. Lawyers made closing arguments on Friday and the jury began its deliberations over the noon hour on Monday.

Squire’s trial was unusual in that nearly all of the Crown witnesses were friends and co-workers of the accused. He could be seen chatting with some of them extensively outside the courtroom before court and during breaks.

On the first day of the trial, Squire and RCMP Const. Lane Tobin could be heard discussing lunch plans during a break in Tobin’s testimony. Tobin was a Crown witness testifying against Squire.

Squire could also be seen arriving for court in a marked police vehicle, dropped off by an on-duty Kamloops RCMP officer. On March 6, a police cruiser stopped and let Squire out at the back door of the Kamloops Law Courts.

At other points in the trial, multiple on- and off-duty Kamloops Mounties showed up to support Squire. They were there right until the end, with five uniformed officers in court Monday for B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan's instructions to the jury. Two more were in the courtroom not in uniform.

On one day last week, five uniformed officers showed up to observe the trial. At first four of them waited outside court in the hallway. Defence lawyer Brad Smith instructed them to enter the courtroom and sit in the gallery before the jury entered the room.

Squire remains on active duty with the Kamloops RCMP detachment.

Castanet Kamloops will cover the jury's verdict when it is reached.

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