Joel Reimer’s family walked out of a Kelowna courtroom Thursday, tear-streaked and shaking their heads in disappointment.
The man who killed Reimer by taking him on a fatal ride under his van during the early hours of New Year’s day 2010, will be released from prison in just over two years.
Justice Geoffrey Barrow sentenced George Young to 6.5 years in prison for criminal negligence causing death and fleeing the scene of a crime, giving him two-for-one credit for the 23 months spent in Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre since his Jan. 8, 2010 arrest. He’ll also be prohibited from driving for a further 10 years.
“We’re disappointed,” said Joel Reimer’s father, Terry, outside the courthouse, noting Young got away with murder.
In addition to a steeper sentence for killing his son, he wanted to see Young deemed a dangerous offender.
Young has a criminal record comprising of 37 previous convictions and 14 different jail terms,
“The Crown said there wasn’t enough to do it,” Terry Reimer said of the designation. “I just don’t know when enough is enough.”
As Geoffrey Justice Barrow handed down the sentence, he told the court Young showed “callous wantonness and extreme disregard for Mr. Reimer’s life and safety” that fateful morning.
Although there was no evidence to support the claim Young intentionally ran Reimer down after their early morning altercation, he did act in a manner that ultimately led to his death.
Barrow concluded, despite assertions to the contrary, Young would have realized he caught Reimer under his van as he started on the fatal half-kilometer ride.
“Six witnesses in apartments, all heard loud screams indicative of distress,” he said, pointing out some of them were sleeping, and heard through closed windows.
“Two heard the words ‘stop, stop’.”
Yet he didn’t stop until the van was wedged on a curb, with Reimer’s torso crushed.
Young then opened the door, ran to a friend’s apartment and eventually tried the flee the city. He was arrested Jan. 8, 2010.
“Every day I relive what my son went through,” said Terry Reimer. “I have no forgiveness for that man.”
And that, he said, will lead him to every parole hearing held for Young in the years to come.
For now, however, the family will share memories of Joel in better times. In the next few months, they’ll be back up at Beaver Lake where he loved to be.
“He was a hugger, and was outdoorsy and liked to be around friends, ” said his mother, Shelley. “He really loved life.”