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Winnipeg police officer sentenced to 30 months in driving death of pedestrian

Click to play video: 'Cody Severight’s grandmother reacts to the sentencing of former Winnipeg police officer Justin Holz' Cody Severight’s grandmother reacts to the sentencing of former Winnipeg police officer Justin Holz
Gloria Lebold speaks to Global News' Will Reimer after a former Winnipeg police officer pleads guilty to hitting and killing her grandson, Cody Severight with his car following a night of drinking – Oct 30, 2019

Cody Severight’s grandmother says her family is taking time to heal after the off-duty Winnipeg police officer who hit and killed her grandson following a night of drinking has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Justin Holz pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death in a Winnipeg courtroom Wednesday and the Crown stayed other charges, including impaired driving.

Cody Severight was walking east across Main Street when he was struck by a 2006 Pontiac in October 2017.

The IIU has concluded no charges should be laid against two officers put on leave following an investigation into a fatal hit and run
The IIU has concluded no charges should be laid against two officers put on leave following an investigation into a fatal hit and run. Rudi Pawlychyn/Global News

The 23-year-old was taken to hospital in critical condition but died of his injuries.

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Holz fled the scene and was arrested 7.5 km away in the area of Main Street and Red River Boulevard.

READ MORE: Officer accused in Cody Severight death no longer with force say Winnipeg police

Gloria Lebold, Severight’s grandmother, hasn’t missed a court day, and read her victim impact statement to the court Wednesday.

“I told him what he did was very wrong, and he destroyed my whole family,” Lebold told Global News outside the courthouse following the sentencing.

“It hurt me as a grandmother — losing a grandchild is very, very traumatic.

Family members hold a vigil in Winnipeg’s Northend Oct. 11 to honour a loved-one killed by an impaired off-duty City cop. Rudi Pawlychyn / Global News

“A lot of times I cry for Cody … It’s hard for me to imagine him lying there.”

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Winnipeg police said at the time that Holz was given a breathalyzer three to four hours after arresting officers suspected he might be impaired.

Two officers were placed on administrative leave after their conduct was questioned in the case, but the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba later concluded no charges against those officers would be laid.

READ MORE: Case involving off-duty officer charged in fatal hit and run hits Winnipeg courts

Family members have previously told Global News Severight had been going to school at Turtle Island to finish his Grade 12 at the time he was killed.

He had just rented his first apartment with his girlfriend who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

“Cody was a beautiful little person … he was such a jokey person — he was happy-go-lucky boy,” remembered Lebold Wednesday.

“We all miss him and we will always miss him.”

23-year-old Cody Severight was struck and killed by a vehicle on Oct. 10. Cody Severight/Facebook

Police chief Danny Smyth said in a statement Wednesday that Holz is no longer employed with the force.

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“I want to express our sympathies to the family of Cody Severight, and hope that they are provided some comfort in the knowledge that they were spared the anguish of a trial,” he said.

–With files from Will Reimer and The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'Off-duty police officer, Justin Holz, charged after car crash kills 23-year old Winnipeg man' Off-duty police officer, Justin Holz, charged after car crash kills 23-year old Winnipeg man
Off-duty police officer, Justin Holz, charged after car crash kills 23-year old Winnipeg man – Oct 11, 2017

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