Edmonton

Edmonton realtor Jayant Soni to serve 18 months for fatal crash

Edmonton realtor Jayant Soni was sentenced Friday to 18 months in jail and two years probation in the death of teenager five years ago.

Judge not persuaded Soni felt remorse for slamming into car at dangerous speed

Edmonton realtor Jayant Soni was sentenced Friday to 18 months in jail and two years probation in the death of a teenager five years ago.

He was also prohibited from driving for one year.

Jayant Soni was speeding when his car slammed into Jeremie LeBlanc, killing him. (Polaris Realty)

Justice Donna Shelley said she was not persuaded that Soni exhibited any remorse for killing Jeremie LeBlanc, 16, while speeding up 66 Street in southeast Edmonton.

Crown prosecutor J.P. Quennville sought prison time for Soni, recommending a three to four-year sentence in a federal penitentiary.

Quennville argued Soni showed no remorse in the aftermath of the crash on April 23, 2010, even launching a lawsuit against the victim's family.

He said Soni only expressed regret telling police, "I wish the kid hadn't died," but he never took responsibility.

Soni's lawyer Brian Beresh argued for a shorter sentence of one year in jail and two years probation.

Beresh entered letters of support from Soni's friends and colleagues describing Soni as remorseful.

Soni was convicted in December of dangerous driving causing death after his speeding Mercedes Benz and a second car racing alongside him slammed into LeBlanc's car killing him.

Jeremie LeBlanc, 16, was killed in southeast Edmonton on Apr. 23, 2010. (Facebook)
In her decision Shelley said it was "more likely than not" Soni was street racing, but ruled there was enough reasonable doubt she could not convict him on the charge. Charges of refusing to provide a breath sample were also dropped.

The driver of the second car, Rena Noi Onevathana, a long-time friend of Soni, is believed to have been driving his Lexus at 125 km/h. Soni was going 100 km/h in the 60 km/h speed zone.

Both cars hit LeBlanc, who was making a left turn at 31st Avenue.

Onevathana eventually pleaded guilty to fleeing the scene of an accident.

Soni filed a $200,000 civil lawsuit against LeBlanc's family blaming LeBlanc for the crash.

He later dropped the suit.

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