News Release

OPP Brant County Officers Charged

Case Number: 14-PVD-232

Mississauga (10 February, 2015) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has reasonable grounds to believe that two officers with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Brant County detachment committed criminal offences in relation to the death of 18-year-old Ashley Lerno in October of 2014. Director Loparco has caused charges to be laid against the officers.   

The SIU investigation determined that on Friday, October 10, 2014, officers were conducting a RIDE program at Maple Avenue and Eighth Concession Road in Burford. At approximately 11:30 p.m., a Chevrolet pickup failed to stop for the RIDE program. OPP officers attempted to stop the pickup. The pickup did not stop and entered the City of Brantford where it was involved in a collision with a Mercury Marquis being driven by Ms. Lerno. Ms. Lerno was taken to Hamilton General Hospital for treatment, but succumbed to her injuries five days later.

As a result of the SIU investigation, OPP Constable Craig McMurtrie and OPP Constable Rodney Donald Grubb are each facing the following Criminal Code charges:

  • one count of criminal negligence causing death contrary to s. 220(b)
  • one count of dangerous driving causing death contrary to s. 249(4)
  • one count of conduct likely to constitute mischief causing actual danger to life contrary to s. 430(5.1)

The officers are required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 44 Queen Street in Brantford on March 23, 2015. The Justice Prosecutions branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General will have carriage of the prosecution.

As this matter is now before the courts, and in consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused and the community, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this investigation. 

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342