Oct 28, 2015 - DRUNK DRIVER WHO KILLED EDMONTON WOMAN GIVEN 3-1/2 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE

An impaired driver who doesn’t believe being drunk was a factor when he ran down an Edmonton senior in a marked crosswalk was sentenced Wednesday to 3-1/2 years in prison.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Don Manderscheid noted Sivakumar Devarajah’s lack of admission that his decision to get behind the wheel while his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit caused the death of 77-year-old Agnes Morgan.

“The fact that the offender is not taking responsibility is significant,” the judge said. “I urge you to take responsibility for what you have done. When you return to the community, you and you alone will be responsible for your actions.”

Devarajah, 56, told a psychiatrist in a pre-sentence evaluation that his impairment didn’t cause the fatal incident. Court also heard he chose not to take counselling for alcohol abuse after he was convicted of impaired driving causing death in April.

“It is mind-boggling that someone would still think they are impervious to the effects of alcohol,” Crown prosecutor Kim Goddard previously told court. “He was a weapon, there’s no other way to put it.”

In February 2013, Devarajah left a Super Bowl party and hit Morgan with his truck while making a left turn at the intersection of 156th Street and 110th Avenue. He claimed he didn’t see her, though other drivers did.

“She had the perfect right to walk,” witness Thomas Pollard testified earlier this year. “She did everything right.”

Afterward, Pollard smelled alcohol on Devarajah‘s breath. “It smelled like he had been drinking. He came up and his eyes were all red and he was talking right in my face.”

Through victim impact statements, Cijay Morgan spoke of her mother’s endless volunteer work with her church and local charities. Her mother died with a to-do list in her pocket that included a reminder to bring bread to feed to local birds, her daughter told court.

“People used to say, ‘If you don’t like Agnes, it’s your fault.’ ”

Outside court, a crying Cijay Morgan said the sentence was light. “Three and a half years is not a long time. Three and a half years is what you should get for being caught drinking and driving. Don’t wait until someone is killed.”

Devarajah, who has a previous conviction for impaired driving, apologized to the court: “I’m very, very sorry for the family’s loss.”

Source: Edmonton Journal

 

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Last updated on: 2015-11-05 | Link to this post