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Another accused in Saskatoon woman's death has a fatal impaired driving conviction

Another person accused in the presumed death of a missing Saskatoon woman has a previous conviction for an impaired driving death.

Robin Tyler John, 34, was charged last week in connection with the suspected killing of Megan Gallagher, who has been missing since September 2020.

In 2014, John pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death in a fatal 2013 crash that claimed the life of 17-year-old Quinn Stevenson in 2013.

One of John's seven other co-accused, Cheyann Peeteetuce, was charged with impaired driving causing death in 2014 in the deaths of two teens in Saskatoon.

John is charged with unlawful confinement and aggravated assault while Peeteetuce is facing a first-degree murder charge.

Both received statutory release, something Quinn's mothern Bonny wants to see changed.

“(John's) sentence was two years, but they’re released at two-thirds of their sentence at a statutory release,” said Stevenson’s mom Bonny Stevenson, who says she was shocked when she heard John was connected with the death of Gallagher.

Saskatoon criminal defence lawyer Lisa Watson says Canadian legislation allows offenders who are sentenced to a penitentiary sentence of two years or longer to qualify for statutory release when they have served two-thirds of their sentence.

“The theory is that while a person is serving their sentence in custody, they are receiving treatment, they are receiving rehabilitative efforts, and that they will come out the other side, we hope, in a better position to not offend again in the future,” she said.

“The idea behind allowing an offender out of physical custody and back into the community sooner than the completion of their sentence is because it allows the state to still exercise some control over the person and monitor them while they're in the community.”

Watson says there are certain conditions a person must comply with on statutory release, or they could be taken back into custody.

Stevenson believes those conditions should be heavily monitored.

“Our wishes for him after he was incarcerated for killing Quinn, was that he would come back with all the things he said he wanted to do,” she said.

“Upgrade his schooling, get a trade and get back into society, and become a dad to his kids and a member of society that could offer something, so it makes me sad to know that that hasn't happened.

“If you have your lawyer stand up in court and state all these things you're going to do, I think you should have to do them.”

Watson says there are scenarios where offenders will not receive statutory release.

“If there's reasonable grounds to believe that a sexual offense against a child may occur, or that the offender may commit a serious violent act involving death or serious harm … and a serious drug offence,” she said.

“Those would be the criteria that they would look at to revoke or not allow a person to have statutory release.”

Lou and Linda Van de Vorst are the vice-president and treasurer of MADD Saskatoon, and lost their son Jordan, daughter-in-law Chanda, and grandchildren Miguire and Kamryn in an impaired driving crash in January 2016.

They believe sentences for impaired driving causing death charges need to be longer.

“The Stevenson's lost their son, the Haughey’s and Wensley’s lost their children. That's an immense loss and it's going to last them their whole life,” said Lou Van de Vorst.

“Does the time incarcerated replace that or pay for that? Not when you have a year and a half or two-year sentence for killing somebody.”

The Van de Vorsts believe the justice system needs to change the way it allows people to remain on statutory release.

“If you're going to release someone back into the public you've got to follow them, and I mean follow them, because they're in there for a purpose,” said Linda Van de Vorst.

“They really need to know that it was serious what they did, they took the lives of loved ones, and they’ve got to be monitored.”

It's the families that are still alive that are victimized time and time and time again because of the way the justice system works, and something has to be done,” said Lou Van de Vorst. Top Stories

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