May 22, 2015 - 18-MONTH SENTENCE FOR FATAL ACCIDENT [Jeremie LeBlanc]


An Edmonton man convicted of dangerous driving causing death for a 2010 collision that took the life of a 16-year-old boy was handed an 18-month jail term Friday.

Jayant Soni, a 36-year-old currently suspended realtor, was also placed on probation for two years following his release and banned from driving for three years.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley said the absence of alcohol, a pattern of bad driving prior to the crash or a prior-related criminal record merited the one-year sentence Soni’s lawyer had sought.

However, she raised it slightly as a result of Soni failing to show remorse for his actions and the fact he received two speeding tickets since the “traumatic” event.

Shelley earlier acquitted Soni of street racing despite being “very suspicious” that he had been racing his Mercedes-Benz against a driver in a Lexus north along 66 Street about 11:30 p.m. on April 23, 2010, just before the two vehicles struck a car being driven by Jeremie LeBlanc, 16, that was turning east on 31 Avenue.

Court has heard the Sherwood Park teen had been on his way to the Grey Nuns Hospital where one of his sisters was giving birth.

LeBlanc’s sisters called it a “disappointing” sentence.

“After waiting over five years for this day, him only receiving 18 months is very upsetting,” said Mona LeBlanc. “At the end of the day, nothing will ever bring back my brother. I am just glad that this is finally over so that my family can begin to move on and try to find closure from this outcome.”

Julie LeBlanc said a “sad sentence of a year and a half jail time is just mind blowing” for the loss of her brother. “I just hope somehow, somewhere, my brother knows his life was worth more and he deserved so much better.”

The judge gave condolences to the family for their “heartbreaking loss” and noted their “extremely moving” victim impact statements showed their “unbelievable pain.”

At the time of the Dec. 18 conviction, Shelley ruled she accepted the evidence that Soni and the driver of the Lexus, Rena Noi Onevathana, had been speeding and concluded Soni had been going between 85 and 100 kmh and Onevathana had been going between 111 and 125 kmh.

Shelley also accepted the testimony of several witnesses that they heard loud engine revving prior to the collision.

In February 2014, Onevathana was handed a 90-day weekend jail term and suspended from driving for six months after earlier pleading guilty to failing to remain at the scene of the deadly three-car collision.

Although Onevathana denied during his case that he was the driver of the Lexus, he did admit being the driver when he testified during Soni’s trial.

While on probation, Soni must abide by a nightly 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, take counselling as directed and perform 100 hours of community service.

Source: Edmonton Sun


 

Last updated on: 2015-06-01 | Link to this post