Closing arguments presented in trial of teen accused in death of classmate

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SYDNEY, N.S. — A lawyer representing a Cape Breton boy accused of killing a classmate by pushing him under the wheels of a school bus says the death was the result of “momentary inadvertence.”

Defence lawyer James Snow made the remark in his closing submission in the tragic case of a 15-year-old Sydney high school student who is charged with criminal negligence causing the death of 18-year-old Christopher Walter Chafe.

Snow told youth court the accused should not be convicted of the crime because his actions were not outside the norm for a boy his age.

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Snow told the judge-only trial there was horseplay among students outside Sydney Academy on Feb. 11, 2015, but he says there was no evidence of fighting or aggression before the victim was pushed.

Crown prosecutor Mark Gouthro says evidence from the majority of the witnesses who testified shows the accused knew the bus was coming and was aware of what would happen if Chafe was pushed.

Gouthro says the accused was aware of the danger because he had pushed Chafe over a snowbank and into the street once before the bus arrived.

The prosecutor says the actions of the accused showed a wanton disregard for the safety of others and a marked departure from what a reasonably prudent person would do in similar circumstances.

The Canadian Press

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