Guilty plea struck down in fatal hit-and-run case
An unexpected twist in the case of a Windsor man who pleaded guilty in a fatal hit-and-run crash.
Margaret Kearns, 72, was struck and killed on Jan. 18, 2016, after she was hit by a pickup truck on Kildare near Tecumseh Road.
Matthew Pilon had previously pleaded guilty to failing to stop resulting in death in November.
Impact statements were supposed to be heard in the sentencing of Pilon on Tuesday and the family of Margaret Kearns was anticipating closure, but will now have to wait a bit longer.
On Tuesday, Pilon stood up in court and said "I don't recall hitting the woman.”
“My client today took the position as, I suppose he's entitled, that he didn't recall having been in an accident that day,” said defence lawyer Frank Miller.
Court heard Kearns was lifted slightly off the ground before being dragged about six feet. She suffered head trauma and broken bones and never regained consciousness.
Pilon told the court he felt the truck move, but didn't see anyone lying on the street.
“My client when he went to the police station, and I won't get into what exactly happened but was extremely remorseful in the presence of the police, was completely distraught,” added Miller.
Justice Renee Pomerance said she is troubled by Pilon’s statements but said Pilon is factually not guilty and so she struck his guilty plea from the record.
“That's a necessary element that is not admitted and it precludes the judge legally from entering a conviction,” said Miller.
The Kearns family was visibly upset and declined comment outside of the courtroom.
Pilon will now stand trial.
A date will be selected on Friday.