Cory Sater appeals convictions and sentence in deadly Coquitlam hit-and-run
Cory Sater, the man found guilty last month of killing two women and injuring a man in a deadly hit-and-run collision in 2011 in Coquitlam, has filed a notice of appeal.
According to Sater lawyer's Rishi Gill, the documents were filed on May 30 and focus both on the six counts on which he was convicted and the sentence imposed by the judge. The lawyer said that while Sater takes responsibility for his actions, he believes the judge was in error in how he applied the law to his case.
"His position has always been that he does not believe that his liability is criminal liability," Gill told The Tri-City News. "He doesn't think the judge was correct in how he applied some of the law and we will let the court of appeals determine that."
In January, Sater, a longtime Coquitlam resident, was found guilty on six charges: two counts each of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing death; and one count each of dangerous driving and impaired driving causing bodily harm. Last month, he was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
Justice James Williams found that Sater was intoxicated when he struck and killed Lorraine Cruz and Charlene Reaveley on Feb. 19, 2011. The third victim, Paulo Calimbahin, Cruz's boyfriend, lost a leg in the collision.
Dan Reaveley, Charlene's husband who was at the scene when the crash occurred, said the appeal process will likely reopen some of the emotional wounds for him and his family. But he said he anticipated that an appeal would likely be filed.
"It didn't come as much of a surprise to me," he said. "I fully anticipated this would happen."
Cruz and Calimbahin had been involved in a minor traffic accident at Lougheed Highway and Pitt River Road when Dan and Charlene Reaveley and friends Giacomo and Kimberly deBenedictis stopped to assist.
Charlene Reaveley, a mother of four young children, was comforting Cruz on the side of the road when the two were struck and killed by a white Jeep that Sater was driving.
"Mr. Sater was oblivious to their presence," Williams said. "[He] continued to drive south on the Lougheed Highway."
Williams gave Sater three and a half years for leaving the scene of an accident and six years for the other charges for a total of nine and a half years. But because of a legal principle known as totality, which is used when consecutive sentences are ordered, the total was brought down to seven and a half years.
Crown had been seeking an eight- to nine-year total term while the defence called for a three-and-a-half year sentence. The maximum sentence for leaving the scene and impaired driving causing death is life in prison.
Williams noted that at the time of the crash, Sater was not licensed to drive and was prohibited from consuming alcohol because of a 2010 assault conviction. The judge also noted that Sater was twice given 24-hour roadside suspensions for being under the influence while operating a vehicle.