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Robert Major sentenced in deaths of sons, girlfriend

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Robert Major sentenced in deaths of sons, girlfriend
WATCH ABOVE: A judge has sentenced Robert Major to seven years in prison for criminal negligence in the deaths of his girlfriend and two sons. Ryan Kessler reports – Jan 25, 2019

Robert Major has been sentenced to seven years in prison for each of three counts of criminal negligence in the deaths of two of his sons and his girlfriend.

A jury found Major guilty on Thursday of three counts each of dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

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The dangerous driving charges were stayed during sentencing Friday.

Major was also sentenced to three years for each count of bodily harm.

All the sentences will be served concurrently.

He will also be banned from driving for eight years after his release.

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Major was the driver of a Dodge Ram pickup that collided with a semi-truck at the intersection of Range Road 3083 and Highway 16 on Feb. 22, 2016, near Langham. During trial at Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench, Major said he was looking for a stop sign moments before the crash happened.

Major’s girlfriend, 26-year-old Kimberly Oliverio, died in the collision, along with two of his sons: Theodore Cardinal, 9, and Brenden Major, 4.

WATCH BELOW: Coverage of Robert Major’s trial

Eight victim impact statements were read in court during sentencing.

The first was from Amanda Cardinal, the mother of Theodore and Brenden.

Cardinal said she felt like she lost her own life after hearing her sons did not survive the crash, and her heart was broken in a million pieces.

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“I just want them back, for this to be a dream,” Cardinal said.

“I miss my boys every day and love them with all my heart.”

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Major offered a tearful apology in court before sentencing came down.

“I’m sorry for my actions,” he said, and proceeded to name members of his family and his ex-wife’s family.

Justice Mona Dovell called the victim impact statements “heart-wrenching,” and told Amanda Cardinal she can’t even imagine what she has gone through.

“This case is so devastating on so many levels,” Dovell said.

“There is no case to compare to this case,” and added she hopes there will never be another one.

The Crown had argued for a sentence of nine years with a 15-year driving ban.

During arguments, Crown prosecutor Michael Pilon said Major’s conduct was extremely dangerous.

Pilon also highlighted Major’s extensive record of driving violations, mainly for speeding and cell phone tickets, including a “revolting” speeding ticket roughly three weeks after the fatal crash.

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“It’s disgusting. I don’t think there’s a better way to say it – the fact that this experience wasn’t enough to teach him to change his ways,” Pilon told reporters.

Major’s lawyer, Brian Pfefferle, had sought a sentence of three to four years and a five-year driving ban.

Outside court, Pfefferle said Major has experienced a wake-up call.

“Seeing what he saw, sitting in the car with his children while they died, I can’t imagine anybody having to live through that,” his lawyer said.

Neale Lensen, the second witness called during the trial was present for sentencing. He was driving the semi-truck hit by Major’s pickup.

“Justice was served. That’s all I’ve got to say,” he told media.

The role the downed stop sign played at the intersection of the grid road and Highway 16 is contested in a lawsuit filed in May 2017.

Major is seeking $180,000 in damages from the Saskatchewan government.

In a statement of defence, the province said the stop sign’s absence wasn’t the cause of the crash.

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