After 7 months, driver in hit-and-run death gets day parole
The Wabush man who admitted driving while drunk, then striking and later killing a Wabush man and injuring a Wabush woman, has been given day parole.
Jeremy Shannon Reid, 30, struck and seriously injured Shane Mercer and Lesia Penney early on the morning of Dec. 5, 2010, as they were walking home from a party in Wabush.
Reid then left the scene of the incident.
Mercer died of his injuries on Dec. 17, 2010.
After denying guilt for more than a year, Reid pleaded guilty to charges of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm on Apr. 20, 2012.
Reid mumbles to parole board
On Tuesday in Stephenville, Reid met with the Parole Board of Canada.
Wearing a long-sleeved plaid shirt, Reid sat with his back to his victim's family — Mercer's father Dave Mercer, and his sister Lindsay Mitchelmore.
He mumbled his responses to questions asked by the parole board committee.
Reid admitted to driving drunk on the night he struck Mercer and Penney. He claimed to have blacked out behind the wheel, and said he had no recollection of the crash.
Despite Reid's inarticulate answers, the Parole Board of Canada granted the Wabush man day parole.
Family of victim upset
Dave Mercer said he was upset with the parole board's decision.
"I can probably throw up. I'm sick," said Dave Mercer. "I never thought the justice department was so screwed up."
"This guy knew what he did that night, he was drunk, he was driving, he took a life and today he is getting rewarded for it."
Shane Mercer's sister, Lindsay Mitchelmore, said she was disillusioned by the entire justice system.
"To take a life of someone so young and innocent and to get seven months to the day from his conviction I think is pathetic," she said.
"He can go on and live his life and have a productive life and do a bit of counselling in jail and now he's all recuperated, and I just don't understand the system."
Reid already incarcerated for almost a year
Reid was sentenced on April 20 to four years in prison, but he had already served 340 days or nearly a quarter of his sentence.
Reid will be sent to a halfway house in Stephenville. In five months, his case will be reviewed to see if he will be eligible for full parole.