Judge loses patience with Nanaimo man representing himself in fatal crash case

Judge loses patience with Nanaimo man representing himself in fatal crash case

Dustin Dennis Zinter cross examined by Crown counsel in B.C. Supreme Court

The trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo of Dustin Dennis Zinter, charged with dangerous driving causing death, moved into its later stages Friday.

Allegations against Zinter stem from a head-on collision on Yellow Point Road on Nov. 10, 2015, between Zinter’s pickup truck and a Toyota pickup driven by Heidi Barbara Plato, 51, of Ladysmith, who died at the scene.

Zinter, 40 at the time he was charged, representing himself after he fired his lawyer Stephen Taylor, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death, failing to remain at the scene of an accident and refusing to provide breath or blood samples to police.

RELATED: Accused in dangerous driving case misses court date, arrested

RELATED: Arrest warrant issued in Nanaimo court for man on trial

RELATED: Lawyer fired in Nanaimo courtroom during trial

RELATED: Nanaimo man charged in 2015 fatal crash in Yellow Point

Zinter faced cross examination by Crown counsel Nick Barber, based on evidence consisting of RCMP crash analysis and statements from emergency personnel that included RCMP officers, firefighters, B.C. Ambulance Service and a resident who lives near the collision site.

Zinter countered by refuting all evidence presented by the Crown, saying that it was possible that Plato’s vehicle had swerved into his lane and the impact of the collision carried the vehicles into Plato’s lane. Zinter also continued to assert he was confused and disoriented following the crash, that he had not been drinking before the crash, only afterward and that he did not attempt to flee the scene.

At one point during the cross examination, Barber asked Zinter if he recalled saying he would have provided a breath sample if he had known someone died in the crash.

“Why would you have give a breath sample if you knew someone had died?” Barber asked.

“Because I’m an honest person,” Zinter said.

Before moving into closing arguments, Judge Robin Baird offered Zinter the time to do further legal research or consultation with a lawyer to better prepare his final argument because he was representing himself.

Zinter, who has been in custody since he failed to appear for a court date June 28, asked to be allowed to return to his home office over the weekend.

Baird said he would not change Zinter’s bail conditions, to which Zinter continued to argue, saying he hadn’t had proper sleep or shower or “proper food in three days” and asked what point there was in taking the weekend if he couldn’t be allowed to go home to prepare himself, at which point the judge appeared to lose patience.

“I’m asking you a straightforward question,” Baird said, raising his voice. “Do you want some time to consider your summation, to take legal advice or to do legal research? That’s the question I’m asking. What’s the answer?”

Zinter decided to proceed. The Crown will finish presenting its closing argument and Zinter will present his when the trial resumes Friday, July 20.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce has asked Nanaimo city council to consider a commercial property tax freeze to help offset negative financial impacts of COVID-19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo council asks for report on potential one-year commercial property tax freeze

Report based on chamber of commerce proposal to ease COVID-19 stress on business community

Literacy Central Vancouver Island’s IPALS program – parents as literacy supporters in immigrant communities – recently secured another five years of funding from senior levels of government. (Photo submitted)
Literacy program working for immigrant families in Nanaimo

Literacy Central Vancouver Island’s IPALS program sees funding extended another five years

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen to field COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing leads to stabbing in Nanaimo

Suspect arrested on Gabriola Island an hour after incident Wednesday, Feb. 24

The Gabriola Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express fleet will be able to move to a new depot facility after receiving more than $187,000 of community economic recovery infrastructure program money from the Province of B.C. (Submitted photo)
Gabriola bus system receives $188,000 from province for depot building

Old fire hall to be retrofitted and serve as new bus terminal thanks to COVID-19 recovery funding

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read