'It's way too soon' Sudbury mom speaks out after convicted drunk driver granted full parole
Walter Carter pled guilty to impaired driving causing death after killing 18-year-old DJ Hancock in 2014
The man responsible for 18-year old DJ Hancock's death three years ago received full parole earlier this month — which is way too soon for DJ's mother.
"I feel like I've been in jail for three years, and I'm still in jail," says Kim Hancock.
"I'm going to continue to be in jail, probably for a real long time — maybe for the rest of my life — and he's going to get to go back to his normal life."
Full parole for Carter in August
Walter Carter pled guilty to impaired driving causing death in 2014.
According to police, Carter's pick-up truck crossed the centre line on Highway 17 and collided with DJ's vehicle.
Carter was given full parole by the Parole Board of Canada as of Aug. 17 — less than 3 years since his sentencing.
Hancock says she was not prepared for such an early release date. She says she does not want to run into Carter under any circumstances.
"The whole night would come rushing back to me," Hancock says. "I'm still grieving for my son. I don't need to be faced with the man who killed him."
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Had she had more time to think about it, Hancock says she may have taken Carter to court in 2014. Now, she's calling for 10 to 15 years of mandatory jail time when a drunk driver causes death.
"It's different if you go in a ditch and you get charged with impaired. You haven't hurt anybody," she says.
"But this is murder in my eyes. He murdered my son, and I don't think I'll ever get over that."
'You're just here. You're just breathing.'
As for giving criminals the chance to rehabilitate into the community, Hancock says she wants less legal protection for drunk drivers.
"DJ didn't get a chance to rehabilitate, so why give these guys a second chance?" she says.
"As far as I'm concerned, there should be a picture of him in every liquor store or on a database or something."
Hancock says she and her husband Dean find that spreading awareness about drunk driving and keeping DJ's memory alive is what keeps them moving forward.
But even then, their lives will never be the same.
"We feel like we've been living in a cloud for three years," says Hancock.
"You don't know what you did yesterday, you don't know what you're doing tomorrow. You're just here. You're just breathing."