A Prince Albert man pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death this morning, but a delay in his sentencing may have larger ramifications for Aboriginal offenders.
Jeremiah Jobb pleaded guilty to two counts of impaired driving causing death in a July 2013 collision. The vehicle Jobb was driving struck another vehicle killing both of the young women inside.
17 year-old Brandy Lepine and 21 year-old Taylor Litwin died of their injuries. Lepine was 6 months pregnant at the time, but doctors were able to deliver her baby. Aurora Ledoux survived, but will require a lifetime of care.
Now crown and defense lawyers say they were expecting a lengthy penitentiary sentence to be handed out today.
However, the judge brought up a recent appeals case where a Regina man received a new hearing because the courts did not consider factors unique to Aboriginal offenders.
The judge ordered a Gladue Report to be done for Jobb before a sentence can be handed out.
In a ruling called Gladue the Supreme Court said that in sentencing aboriginal offenders, courts must consider what have become known as Glaudue factors. These include colonialism, displacement, residential schools, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and higher levels of incarceration for aboriginal people.
Jobb’s defense lawyer Ron Piche says this could have huge ramifications. He says today’s decision essentially says every Aboriginal offender should be the subject of a Gladue Report.
“In my view this decision comes with huge significance,” said Piche. “This means resources will be inundated and hearings will be delayed like you saw today…and we just don’t think in this case Gladue factors had any bearing.”
Piche says based on their reports Jobb had a normal upbringing and was in a supportive home and there were no other factors supporting a Gladue Report.
The family of one of the deceased was heartbroken that they were not able to receive closure today. Josephine Ledoux, Brandi Lepine’s mother and Aurora Ledoux’s grandmother, says at least he pleaded guilty.
“I’m very grateful that he did that, but I was really hoping for some closure and I just wish it will all end,” said Ledoux in a tearful response to reporters outside of the courthouse.
The Gladue Report is scheduled to be completed by September 8 with a sentencing hearing for Jobb set to take place on September 25.