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Jason Heffernan learned his fate in a Barrie courtroom after pleading guilty to the parking lot death of Corby Stott in Midland in 2016.
Heffernan wiped the tears from his eyes as Justice Michelle Fuerst sentenced him to 33 months behind bars on Tuesday for criminal negligence.
Justice Fuerst addressed the court, saying in part, “This is a very serious offense that had catastrophic consequences. It did not involve consumption of alcohol or drugs, multiple deaths, racing; reckless driving, it did, however, involve a conscious decision on Mr. Heffernan’s part. He chose to drive his vehicle reaching 43 to 48 kilometres per hour knowing that Mr. Stott was on its hood.”
She went on to say, “While Mr. Heffernan did not intend to cause Mr. Stott’s death, the potential for serious harm to Mr. Stott was obvious. Mr. Heffernan’s moral blameworthiness is significant.”
The two men crossed paths during a dispute in a Midland Walmart parking lot. Stott died of blunt force trauma to the head after falling from the hood of Heffernan’s car, landing nearly 40 feet away. The 29-year-old was a father to two young boys.
On Tuesday, Stott’s mother couldn’t hold back the tears as she described what a great man her son was. “He was trying to get his life in gear for his two boys and then it was taken away.”
The crown was seeking six to eight years behind bars. The defense argued for two years.
Sean Robichaud, Heffernan’s defense lawyer, says while nothing will bring Corby Stott back, he hopes the sentence will bring the family some closure.
Heffernan will be banned from driving for eight years upon his release.
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