Every day when Craig Stevenson makes a certain left turn on his commute, he thinks about the last moments of his son Quinn's life.

"I often think of when he proceeded into that intersection, that split second, what fear and panic he had, and wished I was there to help him. I doubt there's any way of getting that out of my mind," he said in court on Thursday.

He was speaking during the sentencing of Robin Tyler John, the drunk driver who ran a red light and smashed into Quinn Stevenson's car at Circle Drive and College Avenue on Aug. 3, 2013, killing him. John was 25 years old. Quinn was 17.

The teen was on his way to work at a Saskatoon golf course early in the morning. John was on his way home to the Beardy's & Okemasis First Nation near Duck Lake after a night of drinking on the August long weekend.

When police arrived at the scene, John and his passenger were already outside their black Ford Mustang. They told police someone else was driving, but had run away. A canine track and aerial search came up negative, Crown prosecutor Frank Impey said in court.

The seat belt marks on John's body showed he was on the driver's side, but it took more than a year for the police to gather enough evidence to lay charges, which came in September. John's guilty plea and sentencing on Thursday came after just a few brief court appearances.

His blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash, based on an analysis of his blood taken at the hospital, was somewhere between .193 and .227, well over twice the legal limit of .08.Quinn's parents, Craig and Bonny Stevenson, said they hoped John could someday understand the love of a parent for a child, and what they've lost. They also talked about the pain from not knowing what happened, because John lied to police and never came forward.

John's lawyer, Chris Lavier, later shared that John is a parent - he has a seven-month-old child and another baby on the way with his common-law wife - and helps his spouse parent two other children."Part of his reflection and the trouble he's had with this offence is he can never fully understand, but in some ways he does understand, what the (Stevenson) family could be going through," Lavier said.

John has a stable family life now, but in his early years he had challenges with his birth father, who was an abusive alcoholic, Lavier said. His mother, a mental health, addictions and suicide prevention officer on the Beardy's reserve, is a well-respected leader, Lavier noted.

The Crown and defence jointly submitted John serve a two-year federal penitentiary sentence on the charge of drunk driving causing death, followed by two years of probation, with a three-year driving prohibition, which Judge Albert Lavoie accepted.

John received no credit for remand time, but was sentenced to 40 days' time served on several unrelated charges. So many people, including dozens of Quinn Stevenson's friends and his brother's friends, attended court on Thursday for John's sentencing that a second courtroom was linked by video so everyone could observe the proceedings.

Quinn played multiple sports - baseball, hockey, golf, curling, football, badminton - and had just graduated from Centennial Collegiate with plans to start a broadcasting course in the fall. He wanted to be a sports commentator and a major league hockey referee.

His mother said outside court that her family has grown by about 30 people due to the outpouring of love she's felt from her son's many close friends. Inside court, she told John that Aug. 3, 2013 was the worst day of her life.

"No matter what justice is served today, you will have to live with what you have done for the rest of your life," she said.

"Pain, hurt, anger, suffering, tears, struggling, denial and broken - a broken heart - will be the words I will leave with you."

Source: Star Phoenix


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