Oct 25, 2011 - COURT UPS KILLER DRIVER'S SENTENCE (Brad & Krista Howe's case)

Drunken driver Chad Mitchell Olsen should have learned his lesson long before killing a Red Deer couple, orphaning their five kids, Alberta’s top court said Tuesday.

In granting a Crown appeal of his 27-month sentence, a three-member Alberta Court of Appeal panel noted that despite having no criminal record, Olsen had a horrendous driving one.

“We recognize his remorse,” Justice Peter Martin said, in handing down the court’s unanimous decision.

“We also accept that he has learned his lesson, but that lesson should have been learned years before and not at the loss of life of two innocent people,” Martin said.

The appeal judges agreed with Crown prosecutor Brian Graff’s submission a sentence of 3 1/2 years was more appropriate.

Martin noted Graff was restricted to seeking the same term the prosecutor argued for at Olsen’s sentencing earlier this year.

“The sentence may well have been higher,” the judge said.

“We must deter people who find themselves impaired, from taking control of a motor vehicle.”

Olsen, then 22, was highly intoxicated when he ran his speeding pickup truck through a red light on Feb. 7, 2010, crashing into a vehicle occupied by Krista and Brad Howe.

The Red Deer parents of five were killed instantly by the impact of the crash.

Martin noted Olsen was travelling at at least 85 km/h in a 60 km zone at the time of the collision.

“His blood/alcohol level ... was almost three times the legal limit,” he said.

While Olsen had no prior criminal history, Martin said his past driving offences should have been considered by provincial court Judge Thomas Schollie in sentencing him.

“The respondent has accumulated a very significant record of driving offences,” Martin said, noting 16 traffic offences in the five years before the crash.

“His driver’s licence was suspended on four separate occasions.”

Martin said Schollie also erred by considering the fact Olsen spent a lengthy period of time on bail prior to sentencing, pointing out his release conditions weren’t onerous.

Krista Howe’s parents, Ed and Sandra Green, applauded the court’s decision to increase Olsen’s punishment, but questioned whether 3 1/2 years is enough to deter others from driving drunk.

Source: Calgary Sun


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