still a risk: Crown
Keating, Staff Reporter The Province
September 3, 1999
An American woman whose dangerous driving and
excessive speed resulted in the deaths of two teenage
girls at the Peace Arch border crossing poses a
"significant threat" to society, a prosecutor
told B.C. Supreme Court yesterday.
"Julia Campagna is a significant threat to the
safety of the public," Crown counsel Catherine
Fedder told Justice Thimersingh M. Singh during a
Fedder argued against allowing the 28-year-old Kirkland,
Wash., woman an absolute discharge -- which defence
lawyer Deanne Gaffar had earlier argued in favour of.
Fedder suggested Campagna be supervised for 18 to 24
months to ensure she has no relapse.
Wednesday, Justice Singh ruled that Campagna committed
the offence of dangerous driving causing death, but found
her not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder
caused by taking an over-the-counter diet drug called
Xenedrine that contains the stimulant ephedrine.
Justice Singh reserved judgment until 10 a.m. today.
Campagna underwent a psychological assessment in the
weeks after the fiery 1998 crash that killed Kimberly
Brooks, 18, of Port Coquitlam and Monique Ishikawa, 19,
of North Vancouver.
She was declared fit to stand trial on two counts of
dangerous driving causing death.
Maximum penalty is 14 years in jail, but any criminal
conviction was essentially ruled out when both sides
agreed Campagna was not criminally responsible.
Citing the evidence and the reports of two psychiatrists,
Gaffar argued that Campagna posed no threat to society,
and called her a "high-functioning individual"
with a full-time job in the Seattle area and a
Campagna began taking Xenedrine to help her lose weight
in preparation for the Boston Marathon.
Psychiatric evidence suggested there was a
"minuscule" to "low" risk of a
Meantime, the father of one of the girls killed in the
crash, branded the verdict "the legalization of
Cat Simril-Ishikawa called the "substance-induced
mental disorder" defence an excuse to beat the legal
"Hey, I can pop one of those pills and go kill
everybody I want. Maybe I'll have to go see a couple of
psychiatrists, but that will be it. This is the fault of
the American legal system in allowing this drug to be
sold -- or the fault of the Canadian legal system for
allowing people to get away with being intoxicated and
slaughtering people with no penalty."