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Trial of man accused in death of Indigenous woman struck by trailer hitch begins

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — A Crown lawyer has told the trial of a man who threw a trailer hitch at an Indigenous woman that evidence will prove the injuries from that incident contributed to her death.

Brayden Bushby is facing charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault in the death of 34-year-old Barbara Kentner, who died five months after she was injured in the January 2017 incident. 

Bushby’s trial began in Thunder Bay, Ont. this morning with his defence lawyers noting he was pleading guilty to assault, but not to manslaughter.

Crown attorney Andrew Sadler says the court will hear testimony from witnesses and from a medical expert proving Bushby’s assault on Kentner contributed to her death.

Defence lawyer George Joseph says the question before the court is whether there is a legal link between Bushby’s actions and Kentner’s death, as opposed to a medical link.  

Joseph argues that there is no evidence that the attack was motivated by racism, even if media reports have framed it that way.

Melissa Kentner testified she was with her sister Barbara when she was hit and heard someone leaning out of the vehicle, saying “I got one.”

The Canadian Press

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