The Chief of the Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation has pleaded not guilty to two impaired driving charges in NWT Territorial Court.
Chief Darryl Marlowe was injured in a serious snowmobile accident in the community in early January. That incident led to the charges and his appearance in court by phone on Wednesday.
Marlowe’s lawyer, Paul Falvo, entered the pleas on the chief’s behalf.
The case was adjourned until October 14 to allow the Crown to disclose evidence it has collected to Marlowe and Falvo.
Marlowe was medevaced to hospital in Yellowknife on January 3 after what Łútsël K’é’s senior administrative officer described at the time as an accident.
Police found Marlowe unconscious on the side of the road with the heavily damaged snowmobile nearby.
In March, the Crown stayed two counts of assault against Marlowe, 34, in connection with an early morning incident just prior to the accident in a house in Łútsël K’é, where RCMP had been called.
As reported by the CBC at the time, the Crown said it had reviewed the available evidence and felt it was unlikely Marlowe would be convicted of the assault charges.
Quoting police information, CBC reported the two alleged female victims later recanted their stories about the assaults and about Marlowe consuming a large amount of rum.
Łútsël K’é has banned alcohol. Marlowe was elected to a second term last October. He was reportedly the First Nation’s youngest-ever chief when first elected to the role in March 2017.
Marlowe is assumed innocent unless found guilty in court.