C-Train killer gets 2 more years in prison
Victim's father 'expected a little more than that'
A woman who pushed a Calgary teen to his death between cars of a C-Train has been sentenced to two more years in prison on top of time already served in custody.
Natalie Pasqua, 28, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in November, after an appeal court had overturned her conviction for second-degree murder in the 2007 death of Gage Prevost, 17.
In sentencing Pasqua to more than five years behind bars on Monday, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Peter McIntyre agreed with submissions by both the Crown and defence that she needs rehabilitation and help in battling alcohol and drug addictions.
McIntyre — allowing extra credit to Pasqua for the time she spent in pretrial custody — credited her with three years and four months already served and sentenced her to a further two years and a day in a federal prison.
"I'm pissed off. I expected a little more than that ... for taking the life of a 17-year-old," the victim's father, Dale Prevost, said after the decision.
Dispute over $10 drug deal
Crown prosecutor Bina Border had argued for the additional two-year sentence, saying Pasqua has not shown enough remorse for the teen's death. She said Pasqua acted recklessly on the busy C-Train platform during the evening rush hour on Aug. 1, 2007.
"The type of melee that went on could have caused anybody to be injured," Border said Monday.
Prevost died after he was pushed off the platform of a downtown C-Train station and fell between two train cars. The court heard that he and Pasqua had been in a shoving argument over a $10 deal for crack cocaine.
A jury convicted Pasqua of second-degree murder in February 2008 and Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Rooke sentenced her to life in prison without parole for at least 12 years.
In June, Pasqua won a new trial when the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that she had received an unfair hearing because of errors by the trial judge.
Victim's father weeps
Gage Prevost's father, aunt, cousin and grandmother read emotional impact statements in court on Monday.
"Seeing Gage lying on that slab ... will forever be burned in my memory," Dale Prevost said as he broke down in tears, describing how he had to identify his son's body at the medical examiner's office.
"Having to do them over again, they're not easy things to write and they're definitely not easy things to get up there. You're at the mercy of the court. Hopefully I got my points across," Prevost told reporters afterward.
"Just to let them know that Gage was such a young man. He didn't have chances to do so many things. He was taken from us at such a young, tender age."
Pasqua's defence lawyer, Christopher Nowlin, also supported a sentence of two more years behind bars for his client, who has a criminal record dating back to 1996. He said the prison time would give Pasqua access to rehabilitation programs.
Nowlin addressed Pasqua's troubled history, saying she had been placed at an early age in a residential school where she was physically and sexually abused.
Before the sentence was announced, Pasqua apologized to Prevost's family in a faint and shaking voice.
"I pray for you, not to forgive me but to have some kind of peace in your lives," she said. "I did not know him. And I did not mean for him to die, but there's nothing I can do."
McIntyre said while Pasqua is guilty of manslaughter, there were elements of self-defence and provocation in the struggle with Prevost.
But Prevost's father again criticized the second trial and dismissed her display of emotion.
"The fact that we're back here right now and that it's been pled down to manslaughter, and that she appealed it, shows me her lack of responsibility," he said. "She made her decisions and she should have to live by them."
With files from Colleen Underwood and The Canadian Press