"Find a way to stop drinking and hurting those around you,” Saskatoon judge Albert Lavoie told a man from the Duck Lake area as he sentenced him for impaired driving causing the death of Saskatoon teenager Quinn Stevenson.
Robin Tyler John, 26, pleaded guilty to the charge Thursday in Saskatoon Provincial Court. Lavoie accepted the Crown and defence’s joint-submission and sentenced John to two years in prison, followed by two years of probation and a three-year driving ban upon his release.  
The case was so well-attended that a second courtroom was opened up, where supporters of both families could watch the proceedings by video.
Crown prosecutor Frank Impey told the court that John and a friend started drinking at the Prince Albert Exhibition on Aug. 2, 2013 and decided to drive to Saskatoon, stopping to drink at bars in between.
John’s blood-alcohol level was somewhere between .193 and .227 when he hit and killed Stevenson, who was driving to his job at the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club just after 4:30 a.m. the next day. Impey said it’s believed John was going up to 90 km/hr before running a red light at the intersection of College Drive and Circle Drive, where Stevenson was turning left.
In his victim impact statement, Craig Stevenson said every time he drives past that intersection he thinks of his son's last minutes.
“I wish I was there to help him,” Craig said as his voice shook with sadness.
Court heard that the 17 year old had just graduated from Centennial Collegiate and planned on attending broadcasting school to become a sports announcer. Stevenson was described as an avid athlete who loved golf, baseball and hockey.
“Your actions hurt so many people,” Stevenson’s mother, Bonny, said to John during her victim impact statement.
It’s something John will have to live with for the rest of his life, defence lawyer Chris Lavier told the court. He said his client is extremely remorseful for what happened and can’t imagine what Stevenson’s family has been going through.
Lavier described John as a family man from the Beardy’s First Nation, who has a strong support network but struggles with alcohol addiction. He said Gladue factors were taken into consideration when proposing a sentence, as John believes his drinking and anger issues are a result of an abusive, alcoholic birth father who left when John was a child.
Judge Lavoie said he was “taken aback in a positive way” at how quickly John had pleaded guilty after being charged on Sept. 9. However, charges weren’t laid until more than a year after Stevenson was killed; prompting Craig to question why John “hid himself away” for an entire year instead of turning himself in after the fatal crash.
In addition to pleading guilty to impaired driving cause death, John also entered guilty pleas for obstructing a peace officer, failure to comply with a probation order and failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking. His charges of having a blood alcohol level over the legal limit causing death, criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death were stayed.
“You killed someone by an act of criminal driving. I hope that upon release, you find a way to dig to the bottom of your personal being and deal with your substance abuse,” Lavoie told John.

Source: News Talk 650 CKOM


Last updated on: 2015-07-13 | Link to this post