Man sentenced to seven years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta station owner

7 years for gas & dash death

A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the gas-and-dash death of an Alberta gas station owner has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Mitchell Robert Sydlowski, who is 29, appeared by video link in the Court of Queen's Bench in Wetaskiwin, Alta.

He was charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in August to the lesser offence, as well as failing to remain at the scene of a fatal accident.

The sentence includes six years for manslaughter and one year for failing to remain at the scene.

It will be reduced by more than three years for time served in jail prior to the guilty plea.

An agreed statement of facts submitted in the case said 54-year old Ki Yun Jo was killed after Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel.

It happened outside Jo's Fas Gas station in Thorsby, about 70 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, on Oct. 6, 2017.

A witness saw Jo hanging onto the van's passenger side mirror and, when the vehicle swerved, he was tossed to the ground and run over.

The Crown recommended a sentence of six to eight years, while Sydlowski's defence lawyer suggested it should be at the lower end of the Crown's recommendation because of his client's guilty pleas.

Shortly after Jo's death, the Alberta government moved to bring in legislation requiring drivers to prepay before filling up at gas stations.

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