An emotional sentencing hearing took place in Red Deer Provincial Court on Monday for a man charged in the death of a Red Deer man killed last year while trying to prevent his work truck from being stolen.
Alexander Michael Talbot, 25, was charged in relation to the incident on March 16, 2016 that resulted in the death of Dawson James (DJ) Wegner-Cramer, who was 23.
In an agreed statement of facts, court heard that Talbot and Amanda Jo-Lynn Larsen left from the Aladdin Motor Inn early that morning. The pair was walking toward the Normandeau neighbourhood when they spotted Wegner-Cramer’s Ford F-650 work truck parked behind his home on Nordegg Crescent.
Talbot and Larsen noticed that the truck was unlocked and entered it, with Talbot going in through the driver’s door.
When Talbot started the truck by hot-wiring it, Wegner-Cramer became alerted to the fact that someone was attempting to steal his truck and came out of his home armed with a machete.
When Wegner-Cramer confronted Talbot, he drove off, turning left and pinning Wegner-Cramer against an adjacent parked vehicle. Wegner-Cramer suffered fatal blunt force injuries as a result.
According to the agreed statement, Talbot heard a “thump” but did not stop to see what it was about, instead speeding away toward the Pines neighbourhood where he abandoned the truck after crashing into a parked car.
Court heard on Monday that Talbot, who has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2006, was using crime to support his drug addiction when the tragic events took place.
Talbot was arrested ten days later and charged with manslaughter and theft. Last month, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of dangerous driving causing death. A count of theft of a motor vehicle was dropped.
On Monday, Crown Prosecutor Katherine Clarey and Defence Counsel Andrew Phypers presented a joint submission calling for a 3.5 year sentence for Talbot, minus credit for time spent in custody, along with a three year driving ban and lifetime firearms prohibition upon his release. He is also to submit a DNA sample to be kept on record.
The judge agreed to the submission, leaving Talbot with 837 days left to serve behind bars.
Clarey read three victim impact statements on Monday from Wegner-Cramer’s mother, Lynn, his father, Jonathan, and his brother, Brandon.
Lynn says the death of her son “leave an emptiness that will haunt her forever,” calling DJ “a gift from God” and “the light of her life.” Her statement also said that his death has robbed her of the joy in her life and that she relies on medication to get her through each day.
“Dawson was given a death sentence and we were given a life sentence,” her statement added.
Meantime, Larsen is due back in Red Deer court on Monday to speak to a count of possession of stolen property in relation to the incident.
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