Jun 15, 2011 - JUSTICE SEEKING HARSHER SENTENCE (Brad & Krista Howe's case)

The Alberta Justice Department has decided to appeal the sentence handed to an impaired driver who killed a Red Deer couple with five children.

Carla Jones, a justice department spokesman, said Tuesday no date has been set for the Alberta Court of Appeal to hear the case against Chad Mitchell Olsen, 24, of Sedalia.

Olsen was jailed for two years and three months during a sentence hearing in Red Deer provincial court on April 27.

The appeal is expected to be argued by an Edmonton justice department prosecutor.

Brad and Krista Howe, ages 34 and 35 respectively, were killed in Red Deer on Feb. 7, 2010, after their eastbound car was hit by a southbound pickup truck driven by Olsen who had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. They were pronounced dead at the scene at 30th Avenue at Ironstone Drive.

Karla Green, Krista Howe’s sister who is raising the five children, said Tuesday she was glad the Crown has appealed.

“The Crown told us they were planning to appeal because they didn’t feel the length of the sentence was sufficient,” Green said.

“I don’t think it (sentence) reflects the severity of his (Olsen’s) actions.

“It really doesn’t force him to take any responsibility for what he’s done. Typically people don’t serve their entire sentences and from my understanding they serve approximately a third of their sentence.”

“I think it’s as severe as murder.”

Killing someone with a vehicle is the same as killing someone with something else, Green said.

Roy Shellnutt, Olsen’s Calgary lawyer, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Red Deer Crown prosecutor Charlotte Oxford argued for a 3 1/2-year sentence while Shellnutt said the court could impose a two years less a day sentence, which would spare Olsen federal time.

Judge Thomas Schollie handed out the sentence, which also included a five-year driving ban once Olsen is released from prison.

Oxford and Red Deer Chief Crown prosecutor Anders Quist both said after the hearing they were disappointed in the length of the sentence.

The sentence sparked a public outcry with numerous letters to the editor calling for a stiffer sentence.

Olsen was running a red light and travelling at a minimum of 85 km/h in a 60 km/h zone, court heard.

His blood alcohol reading was .226. The legal limit is .08.

Olsen had nine previous speeding convictions and seven other traffic violations, which had earned him three separate driving suspensions.

Sedalia is a small hamlet 175 km southeast of Stettler.

Source: MADD Red Deer


Last updated on: 2013-01-16 | Link to this post