Alberta man avoids second trial, further jail time after plea in fatal crash

RED DEER, Alta.

A Red Deer, Alta., man who successfully appealed his drunk driving conviction for a crash that killed a 13 yr old boy has avoided a second trial by pleading guilty to lesser charges.

Rodney Ross Arens, who is 40, was arrested after a July 1, 2010, collision in Red Deer that took the life of Jeffrey Chanminaraj and seriously injured the teen's older brother.

Following a lengthy trial in 2014, Arens was convicted of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm and was sentenced to more than five years in prison.

The Alberta Court of Appeal quashed the conviction in 2016 after Arens argued that the trial judge erred by referring to Arens's refusal to provide a breath sample following the crash - even though a charge related to that matter was withdrawn.

A new trial that was ordered was to have started today, but court records show Arens pleaded guilty last October to charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and causing bodily harm.

He was sentenced to more than 2 1/2 years in prison, but was given credit for time already spent in custody.