“Defence of Others” Raised In Fatal Hit And Run Case

November 23rd, 2017 by David Schell

After a number of court appearances there has been a major development in the case involving a man who claims he ran over someone to save a woman’s life.

On June 7, 2017, Anthony Kiss made a decision while behind the wheel of his vehicle, that left one person dead, and another woman praising his actions as she believed she was about to be stabbed to death.

Mr.  Kiss was at a red light in the area of Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue West, when he and his girlfriend noticed a man, Dario Romero, had pulled a knife on Alicia Aquino, at a bus stop and began to try and stab her.  Mr. Romero ran after Ms. Aquino onto the roadway.  At that moment Mr. Kiss drove forward and struck Romero with his vehicle.  Mr. Kiss fled the scene and made his way back to his home in Wasaga Beach until police pulled him over on the highway near Barrie and brought him in custody.

Romero was killed after being struck by the vehicle and Kiss was charged with manslaughter, impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death, over 80mgs operation of a motor vehicle causing death and failure to stop at the scene of an accident causing death.

More recently, on Tuesday November 14th, the Crown withdrew the manslaughter charge against Kiss which carried the possibility of life in prison as a penalty. The lawyer for Mr. Kiss outlined that the Crown will be laying new, but less serious charges in relation to the incident.  The new charges include the impaired and over 80 offences with the “causing death” element removed and an additional charge of dangerous driving.

This case highlights the issue of criminal responsibility in the context of defending another person.  The defences of self-defence and defence of others are contained in the Criminal Code under section 34 That section outlines the following:

A person is not guilty of an offence if

(a) they believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;

(b) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and

(c) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.

Section 34 (2) of the Criminal Code outlines a number of factors the court can consider to determine whether the actions of the accused are reasonable in the circumstances.  These include the extent to which the use of force was imminent, whether there were other means available to the accused to respond to the potential use of force and whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon.

To put it simply, if someone commits an offence (IE. assault) in self-defence or in defence of another, they will not be guilty of the offence if a court determines their actions were reasonable in the circumstances.  In the Kiss case, it appears his claim that he was “defending another” had some legitimacy and likely influenced the decision of the Crown to withdraw the more serious charges.

If you require representation for criminal disputes, please contact Devry Smith Frank LLP’s criminal lawyers or contact David Schell directly at 416-446-5096. For all other legal services and inquiries, please visit our website or call us directly at 416-449-1400.

“This article is intended to inform. Its content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon by readers as such. If you require legal assistance, please see a lawyer. Each case is unique and a lawyer with good training and sound judgment can provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation and needs.”

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