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Update on Nick Berto sentencing

2016 crash in parking lot of Pine Plaza
03-12-2016 Pinie Plaza  crash
Police reconstruction of Pine Plaza crash that left Paul VanderGriendt unable to use his arms or legs. Police took this image from inside Berto's truck. It shows a mannequin matching VanderGriendt's height and clothing style

Nicholas Berto will be sentenced Tuesday, Nov. 13 on charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and failing to stop to offer assistance to Paul VanderGriendt.

The 20-year-old Saultite was found guilty on May 23 on the two charges, which stemmed from a 2016 crash outside The Harp Bar and Grill that left Paul VanderGriendt a quadriplegic.

Crown and defence lawyers will make recommendations on sentencing at court hearings on Wednesday, Oct. 10 and Thursday, Oct. 11.

A nine-man, three-woman jury rejected Berto's claim that he acted in self-defence when he ran over VanderGriendt in the early-morning hours of March 12, 2016 at Pine Plaza.

Berto admitted he didn't check to see whether anyone was in his path as he left the parking lot, but said he feared an angry crowd outside The Harp Bar and Grill might try to punch him through his driver-side window.

"He acted out of natural instinct to preserve himself, out of fear," said Berto's lawyer, Bruce Willson.

David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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