A 16-year-old boy who killed a Winnipeg cyclist in a crash with a stolen truck last summer was handed 21-month jail sentence for the crime Thursday.
The boy, who was driving the stolen truck, swerved to avoid hitting slow-moving vehicles at an intersection in the North End neighbourhood and hit James Duane, 58, who was heading home on his bicycle after picking up some fixings for a July barbecue.
The teen, who cannot be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death and theft over $5,000 earlier this month.
He was sentenced Thursday to 21 months in custody, followed by four months probation, in addition to the months he's already spent in custody since his arrest in July. The sentence was based on a joint recommendation by the Crown and defence.
Duane's sister, Marilyn LaRiviere, described the sentence as a "slap on the wrist," saying says car theft is rampant and sentences should be stiffer.
"Even adults don't get as much as they should," she said. "It's not yours. Leave it alone.… They lock it up, they immobilize, they put the club on or whatever, and [thieves] still seem to bypass them."
LaRiviere was given a chance to speak to the boy during Thursday's proceedings.
"I just asked him, 'Why?'" she said outside court. "I knew he didn't wake up that morning and say, 'I'm going out to kill somebody,' right. I knew that. But then I asked him why, and his lawyer wouldn't let him answer."
When given an opportunity to address the court, the young man apologized for his crime.
Before the accident, the teen had been designated a high-risk or Level 4 offender in the Winnipeg Auto Theft Suppression Strategy (WATSS), a provincial program for youth and young offenders considered at risk of stealing vehicles.
Provincial Judge Rob Finlayson described him as at an "exceptionally high risk to reoffend."
The other boy involved in the theft was sentenced late last year for theft over $5,000.