‘No sense of emotion, no tears’: Alberta driver who killed 3 young men denied parole
The family of a teen killed in a drunk driving related crash in November 2011 said they did a quiet “high five” after the driver was denied parole.
On Friday, a parole hearing was held in Winnipeg for Jonathan Pratt, who was sentenced to eight years behind bars for killing Bradley Arsenault, Thaddeus Lake and Kole Novak. He was seeking day and full parole.
The written decision from the Parole Board of Canada has not yet been released but an oral decision Friday afternoon shot down his application.
Sheri Arsenault, Bradley’s mother, was present at the hearing and got to see Pratt’s face as she read her victim impact statement.
“He stared straight ahead. At times, he would blink, close his eyes for a second. But there was absolutely no sense of emotion, no tears,” she said.
“We were hoping two-and-a-half years into his sentence… that we would see true remorse, some sense of sadness – for not only the three young men he killed – for the families.”
Pratt was doing almost 200 km/h when his vehicle slammed into the vehicle carrying the three young men; he had a blood alcohol level two-and-a-half times the legal limit. He was found guilty in 2014 of manslaughter and impaired driving causing death.
Prior to the decision, Arsenault said Pratt was questioned about whether alcohol was a problem for him, about his childhood, about the night of the crash as well as what his plans were if he were released.
“I would describe to you a man who has no insight on the gravity of the crime that he committed. He mostly wants to get on with his life and can’t really understand what the big deal is about,” she said.
“His last words – there was absolutely no apology – not to Brad, Kole or Thad. There was no apology to the families.”
Arsenault said the family did a quiet “high five” after the decision came down.
“We were happy with that decision,” said Bradley’s father Rob Arsenault.
“Mostly we believe he should remain incarcerated because we believe that he’s not ready to be released.”
Arsenault said Pratt’s apparent lack of remorse has made it hard for the family to heal.
“It makes it tough to move on because of the fact, we would normally expect some type of remorse [from] somebody who did this to a child. But of course, none from him.”
According to the Parole Board of Canada, an offender may appeal a negative decision within two months of the decision.
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