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Sundre man acquitted of manslaughter, will be sentenced in hit and run

Jason Kelley Burns will be sentenced Friday for hit and run for backing into and killing Brendon McDonald. A jury acquitted Burns of manslaughter in the case.

A Sundre man found not guilty of manslaughter last week in the death of a 34-year-old man run over and killed in Mountain View County in 2022 will find out Friday when he will be sentenced on the lesser charge of hit and run, court officials said.

Jason Kelley Burns was acquitted by a 12-member jury in Calgary Court of King’s Bench on May 23 following a trial.

Brendon McDonald, also a Sundre resident, was killed when a vehicle driven by Burns backed into him on March 1, 2002, court reportedly heard.

The jury found Burns guilty of hit-and-run in connection with the fatality. 

Specifically he was found guilty under Criminal Code Section 320.16, which reads: “Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance and who at the time of operating the conveyance knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the conveyance has been involved in an accident with a person or another conveyance and who fails, without reasonable excuse, to stop the conveyance, give their name and address and, if any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.”

Subsection 3 of Section 320.16 reads: “Everyone commits an offence who commits an offence under subsection (1) and who, at the time of committing the offence, knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the accident resulted in the death of another person or in bodily harm to another person whose death ensues.”

In a press release issued by RCMP shortly after the fatality, police said officers responded to a call about a fatality involving a motor vehicle at a rural residence on Range Road 43 outside Sundre.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that an interaction occurred between two adult males resulting in the suspect striking the victim with a pickup truck while it operated in reverse. The pickup then fled the scene,” the release stated.

Burns remains in custody pending an appearance in Calgary's Court of King’s Bench this Friday.

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