Freedom given to man charged after baby’s death in Edmonton arson

EDMONTON — A man who admitted to setting a fire in Edmonton that killed a baby and seriously injured a woman will not serve further jail time.

Brandon Woycenko was sentenced Thursday to 76 days in jail, but the judge ruled that he had served 51 days at time and a half and is now free.

Woycenko pleaded guilty to arson and two counts of mischief to property for starting the August 2017 blaze that injured Angie Tang and killed her five-month-old son, Hunter Brown.

The charges initially included a count of second-degree murder, which was withdrawn when the Crown determined the evidence would likely not result in a conviction.

Woycenko, who was 19 at the time of his arrest, still faces two years of probation along with a number of conditions that include a curfew.

The police investigation also led to the arrest of a woman in her late teens, but all charges against her were later dropped.

In a statement released after the sentencing, Hunter’s family expressed “disappointment” toward the justice system.

“Hunter’s death was no accident. It was the result of an individual’s deliberate actions. Yet this individual is facing nothing more than a minor inconvenience as his time served means he will have no additional prison time.”

Eight people, many of them renters, were in the southwest-area home when the fire broke out. Six got out safely but emergency crews found Tang and Hunter in serious condition.

The infant died later from smoke inhalation.

Police said they received information that the blaze started when patio furniture was deliberately set on fire near the front door of the home.

Cordell Brown, Tang’s wife and Hunter’s father, told CTV News after the fire that Woycenko and the young woman were former tenants in the home in which he was the landlord. He said he evicted Woycenko three times and the woman once.

Brown said the pair damaged the house, stole about $1,000 worth of food and other items and kept smoking inside the residence, despite being told it was forbidden.

Brown suffered anxiety attacks after the blaze and was arrested and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act.

He offered a cash reward for information through a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $12,000. (CTV Edmonton)

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