Release revoked for man who shot toddler

Man sent back to jail for second time

EDMONTON — A man who wounded a toddler in a drive-by shooting on an Alberta reserve has been sent back to jail for a second time since serving a portion of his sentence.

Christopher Crane had his statutory release revoked last week, and also in 2015 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Crane was convicted in a shooting nine years ago that injured 23-month-old Asia Saddleback of the Samson Cree Nation.

Documents from the Parole Board of Canada say Crane was released in December, but was arrested the following month.

The board says he threatened staff in a halfway house, wore gang colours and was dishonest and ignored case workers’ instructions about a relationship with a woman.

Asia was hit in the chest with a bullet in April 2008 when Crane fired a rifle at a home he thought belonged to a rival gang member.

He has remained in custody since his arrest in January and the parole board revoked his statutory release on May 2.

“In revoking your release, the board noted your history of failing to comply with the release conditions in the community, and your recent behaviour, which it considered indicative of the lack of commitment on your part to change your lifestyle, and an unwillingness to be supervised in the community,” the parole board decision stated.

It said file reports noted Crane used heroin after he was arrested Jan. 27.

The board said the decision to revoke Crane’s most recent release took his indigenous heritage into account. That included his criminal behaviour being influenced by several close family members who attended residential school and that he was abused and neglected as a child.

Crane was also given statutory release in 2015 and was living in a halfway house, but was sent back to jail after he was caught smoking marijuana and drinking.

At the time of the shooting, Asia was sitting at a kitchen table when the bullet pierced the wall of the home. She survived, although doctors were unable to remove the bullet lodged between her liver and spine.

Crane had been drinking and doing drugs at the time of the shooting.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and other charges and was sentenced to seven years and five months.

“While you have shown some interest in working with an elder in the past, your lack of motivation or commitment to a correctional plan suggests that there is no release plan that would be sufficient to manage your risk at this time,” the parole board decision stated.

Statutory release with supervision is required by law when most offenders have completed two-thirds of their sentences. It’s meant to provide offenders structure and support before their sentence expires to improve their chances of successful reintegration into the community.

Statutory release does not apply to those serving a life or indeterminate sentence.

Crane will be eligible again for statutory release when he completes two-thirds of the time between his arrest in January and Sept. 24 of this year, the date his sentence expires.

The Canadian Press

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