Joshua Mitchell, convicted in fatal Calgary gas-and-dash, gets 11 years
A Calgary man who ran over and killed a gas-station worker trying to stop him from stealing fuel has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Joshua Cody Mitchell, who is 22, was convicted by a jury earlier this year of manslaughter, hit and run and theft.
Justice Alan Macleod said while there was no intent to kill, the risks of Mitchell’s behaviour should have been obvious to him.
Maryam Rashidi, who was 35, died two years ago when Mitchell ran over her as he took off without paying for $113 of fuel.
She and her husband had come to Canada from Iran in 2014 because she wanted a better life for their son.
She had been working at the Centex gas station for just two weeks after being laid off from her engineering job during Calgary’s economic downturn.
Mitchell’s sentence consists of 10 years for manslaughter and an additional year for hit and run. The judge gave him about 3 1/2 years of credit for time served.
Rashidi’s mother quietly wept during sentencing arguments Wednesday for the man who took her daughter’s life.
Kobra Mohammadi and her son flew to Calgary from Iran to witness the hearing.
Victim impact statements were read from Rashidi’s family, including one that was written by her husband before he died in a traffic accident in June.
They spoke of their ongoing grief over the loss of their loved one.
The Crown is calling for a sentence of 10 years for manslaughter and an additional two years for hit and run.
A judge is to hear sentencing arguments today for a driver who ran down and killed a gas-station attendant who had been on the job for only two weeks.
Mitchell was originally charged with second-degree murder.
Rashidi had been laid off from her engineering job and had started work at the Centex gas station just two weeks before her death.
The trial heard that Rashidi chased the truck across a parking lot and onto the busy Trans-Canada Highway where the vehicle got stuck in traffic. She banged on the passenger window, stood in front of the truck with her hands up and then scrambled onto the hood.
She was run over after the truck swerved and she fell off.
Braydon Brown, who was a passenger, testified he still has nightmares after seeing “the look of fear in her eyes” when the truck was put in drive.
In an interview with police played in court, Mitchell said he tried to shake Rashidi off the vehicle but he didn’t remember running over the mother of one.
At the end of the interview, Mitchell wrote a letter to the woman’s family expressing his remorse.
“I’m really sorry this had to happen to your family,” he wrote. “It shouldn’t have happened. We tried to avoid injury to anyone. I feel so bad that this happened. I’ve never hurt anyone physically in my life. This is the first.”
Rashidi and her husband, Ahmad Nourani Shallo, came to Canada from Iran in 2014 and both had engineering jobs before being laid off when the Alberta economy started to decline. They had one son together.
Shallo died in a traffic accident in June while driving from his home in Vancouver to Calgary for the second anniversary of Rashidi’s death.
With files from Global News