Panel of judges considering Arens appeal

  • Wed Sep 16th, 2015 3:37pm
  • News

A panel of three judges are reviewing the appeal of a convicted drunk driver.

The Alberta Court of Appeal heard the case of Rodney Arens last week in Calgary. Donna Derie-Gillespie represented Arens on the matter. There is no indication when the panel will come back with a decision.

Arens, 37, of Red Deer, appealed the nearly six-year sentence he was given in the spring of 2014 for his role in the death of a 13-year-old Red Deer boy on Canada Day in 2010.

Arens was sentenced to five years and six months in prison. He was given credit for 185 days for time served before and during the trial. His sentence also included a driving prohibition for 10 years.

In 2010, police said Anouluck ‘Jeffrey’ Chanminaraj, 13, was riding in a Honda Civic with his then 18-year-old brother Jamie and 20-year-old sister Stephanie, who was driving, at about 11 p.m. on Canada Day when a Dodge Ram pick-up truck crashed into the passenger side of the car.

Their car was turning left through the intersection of Taylor Drive and Kerry Wood Drive when it was struck by the pick-up truck. The siblings were on their way to see the Canada Day fireworks.

Jeffrey was pronounced dead at the scene.

During sentencing submissions of the case, Crown Prosecutor Wayne Silliker sought six years in prison for Arens with a 10-year driving prohibition. Derie-Gillespie said that a four-year sentence and a five to 10-year driving prohibition would be appropriate.

Before handing down his sentence Justice Kirk Sisson said, “Jeffrey’s loss will never be forgotten.”

He said the sentence would act as a deterrent for Arens and for others in the community who may look at this case and see what could happen to them if they chose the same actions.

“It is to promote in you a sense of responsibility for your actions,” Sisson told Arens. “It appears you went to great lengths to not take responsibility for your actions and that your self-destructive behaviour continued after you caused the death of a 13-year-old boy on Canada Day in 2010.”

Arens also offered an apology in court before the sentence was handed down.

“I’m very sorry to the family for the loss and that I was involved in such a tragic event. I remember the day like it was yesterday. This has had an impact on me also.”

Sisson said that while he thought Arens’ apology was sincere, he thought that Arens felt sorry for himself.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com