Verdict expected today in Thunder Bay trailer hitch throwing death manslaughter trial


Brayden Bushby leaves the Thunder Bay courthouse in an undated photo.

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

An Ontario Superior Court judge is expected to deliver her decision this afternoon for a Thunder Bay man accused in the 2017 death of Barbara Kentner.

Brayden Bushby admits to throwing a metal trailer hitch at Kentner from a moving vehicle which struck her in the stomach and ruptured her bowel in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2017, but he pleads not guilty to one count of manslaughter in connection to her death.

Kentner, a 34-year-old mother from Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, required emergency surgery the day after the attack on her small intestine. She died approximately six months later in palliative care.

The pathologist who performed the autopsy on Kentner’s body, Dr. Toby Rose, testified Kentner died of bronchopneumonia and acute chronic peritonitis caused by a traumatic rupture in the small intestine due to a blunt force injury to her abdomen.

Kentner’s underlying liver condition was also a factor in her death but it was not listed as an immediate cause, according to the autopsy report.

Barbara Kentner was struck with a trailer hitch while out walking with her sister in 2017.

Rose also stated in her witness testimony, Kentner’s chronic liver disease put her at risk of death even without the traumatic injury she sustained but determined in her post-mortem examination report the complications as a result of the injury she sustained in January 2017 ultimately hastened her death.

Crown attorney Andrew Sadler argued Bushby is guilty of manslaughter despite Kentner suffering from chronic liver disease prior to being hit with the trailer hitch.

However Bushby’s defence lawyer, George Joseph, argued there is no legal link between the injury his client inflicted on Kentner and her death months later. Joseph also pointed out Kentner’s surgery to repair her ruptured bowel after the assault was successful according to medical records and every hospital visit after her surgery was related to her liver disease and not from complications of her surgery.

Bushby was originally charged with second-degree murder but the charge was later changed to manslaughter and aggravated assault. His trial took place over four days in early November in front of a judge-alone.