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Man guilty in Alberta gas-and-dash death to have conditions when released

Ki Yun Jo, the victim of a fatal gas-and-dash robbery in 2020, is shown in an Alberta RCMP handout photo. A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his death has had conditions imposed by the parole board before his pending release from prison. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP MANDATORY CREDIT

A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the gas-and-dash death of an Alberta gas station owner has had conditions imposed by the parole board before his pending release from prison.

Mitchell Robert Sydlowski, 32, was sentenced in September 2020 to three years, 10 months and two days in prison after receiving credit for the time he served in pretrial custody for the death of 54-year-old Ki Yun Jo.

An agreed statement of facts said Jo was killed when 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, in October 2017.

Documents released Monday by the Parole Board of Canada show Sydlowski’s statutory release is pending.

Statutory release is legally required after a federal offender serves two-thirds of their sentence. The rest of the sentence is to be served under supervision in the community.

The documents show that the Parole Board of Canada reviewed Sydlowski’s’ case on Nov. 1 and imposed conditions that it considers necessary to ensure public safety and support his reintegration into the community.

“You are a young man who committed a very serious violent offence, which took the life of an innocent victim, causing not only that loss of life but also significant, ongoing trauma and loss to his family,” said the decision.

“While you have expressed remorse, your actions during your incarceration and for your brief period on day parole raise questions for the board as to how deeply you have accepted responsibility for your offending, and for the need to change.”

The decision noted that Sydlowski had some problems in custody and wasn’t successful on day parole, but said his behaviour has improved since he returned to custody.

“You appear to have a manageable release plan, which involves living with … a new realization that you need to change your lifestyle and distance yourself from old associates,” said the decision.

“The board assesses that you are at an early stage of change and may now be ready to accept both the need for you to change your lifestyle and to accept the harm that you have caused to others and yourself, as a result of your previous substance abusing and criminal offending lifestyle.”

Sydlowski’s conditions during his statutory release include that he not consume alcohol or drugs, seek employment, not operate a motor vehicle and not have contact with the victim’s family.

He’s also required to have a treatment plan and not have any contact with people involved in criminal activity.