Martin Gentles will not serve jail time.
That was the decision given by Justice John D. Truscott in Williams Lake Supreme Court Wednesday.
Instead Gentles, 30, received an eight-month conditional sentence, one year probation, a one-year driving suspension and a $1,500 fine.
The sentence was given to Gentles for having care and control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit and for failing to stop and render assistance after his vehicle struck and killed Rayel MacDonald and seriously injured Alysha Mullet while the two friends were crossing Carson Drive on April 22, 2012 after attending the Rodeo Dance.
While Truscott told Gentles he considered the hit and run a “serious offence” he also said the decision whether or not to give Gentles jail time was “a close call.”
“Those who were victimized like Ms. MacDonald and Ms. Mullett and their families may cry out for a lengthy sentence while Mr. Gentles calls for mercy,” Truscott said.
Truscott reiterated before his decision that he found Gentles not guilty of dangerous driving causing death and that the purposes of sentencing is deterance and rehabiliation, and cannot be one of vengence.
“(The sentence) can be one of retribution emphasizing his moral culpability, tempered by the fact he is still a young man with a family to support and his rehabilitation should be assisted,” Truscott said.
“If I were to sentence him to a period of incarceration, it would only be for a range of four to six months and during this period he would probably lose his job again. What would be accomplished by exposing him to the wonderful world of prison and the bad examples that reside there?”
In giving Gentles the conditional sentence, which is to be served like a house arrest with court-ordered conditions that would allow Gentles to only leave his home in Lac La Hache for work and medical appointments, Truscott urged Gentles to adhere to the sentence or he could find himself in prison and told him he had better stay on the straight and narrow.
“It’s time for you to take on the responsibilities of being a father to a son and raising him properly.”
Truscott also accepted Gentles’ remorse, he said.
Aggrevating factors for sentencing included Gentle’s previous driving record of speeding and 24-hour suspensions.
Since MacDonald’s death Gentles was also convicted on restricted firearms charges and drug trafficking.