Emotional day in court for family of man killed by drunk driver
A sentencing hearing was held Wednesday morning for a Manitoba man who pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death.
Martin Jolicoeur received a 32-month sentence after a plea bargain between the Crown and the defence.
Justice Vic Toews also imposed a three year driving ban which will kick in once he's released from prison.
Robert Joubert was killed in June 2012 after his Chevrolet Blazer was rear-ended on Highway 1 about 12 kilometers east of Winnipeg.
Joubert was on his way to work at around at 5 a.m. when the collision occurred.
Families of both men packed a Winnipeg courtroom for the sentencing hearing.
The defence is seeking a two-year sentence while the Crown is asking for three years.
Court heard Jolicoeur had been drinking before travelling east on Highway 1. He then turned back towards the city of Winnipeg.
The Crown outlined how Jolicoeur had been driving at 170 km/h in his Ford Explorer when he rear-ended Joubert's Blazer.
Court heard the impact caused Joubert, the lone occupant, to be ejected out of the rear of his vehicle even though he was wearing a seatbelt. The seatbelt was still buckled in after the crash.
Jolicoeur told officers who attended the crash he had his last beer at around midnight. RCMP recovered a cooler containing three empty beer cans, but the Crown said it wasn't clear when those beers were consumed or who drank them.
Court heard the accused attempted to administer CPR on the victim at the scene of the crash.
Joubert was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after the crash.
Family read out a eulogy as well as victim impact statements in court. They talked about how Robert enjoyed fishing, camping and hunting, and how his smile and “big bear hugs” will be missed.
The victim’s cousin, Stephen Joubert, read an impact statement on behalf of Robert’s father, Dan.
“I want justice because I don’t want other families to go through this,” said Stephen on behalf of Dan.
Stephen also spoke on Richard Joubert’s behalf; he is Robert’s brother.
“He didn’t deserve to die so cruelly,” said Stephen on behalf of Robert.
Joubert’s sister Réjeanne and mother Christine also read victim impact statements.
“It was such a tragic, incomprehensible and senseless loss of life,” said Christine. “My family has been ripped apart and I’m a woman and a mother who’s been torn.”
“Robert could not come to my grade 12 graduation because of someone’s terrible choice and decision,” said Réjeanne. “I will never forget the day the RCMP came knocking on our door the morning Robert died.”