Arens gets more time in jail

Add nine months to the sentence of a man convicted in the 2010 fatal Canada Day crash near Bower Ponds in Red Deer. Rodney Ross Arens, 36, of Sylvan Lake was sentenced to nine months in custody on Tuesday in Red Deer provincial court by Judge John Holmes.

Add nine months to the sentence of a man convicted in the 2010 fatal Canada Day crash near Bower Ponds in Red Deer.

Rodney Ross Arens, 36, of Sylvan Lake was sentenced to nine months in custody on Tuesday in Red Deer provincial court by Judge John Holmes.

He was convicted on April 14 of resisting arrest, obstruction, being in control of a vehicle while impaired, breaching conditions of a release and possession of crack cocaine.

At the time, he was out on bail ahead of his June 2014 trial for the 2010 fatal crash that killed Jeffery Chanminaraj, 13. Arens was convicted of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

He was sentenced to five years and nine months for his role in the fatality. His appeal on these matters will be heard by the Calgary Court of Appeal on Sept. 9.

On Dec. 21, 2013, Arens was found by Sylvan Lake RCMP in a gas station parking lot asleep in a truck.

When police woke him up, he struggled and attempted to swallow a bag of crack cocaine he had on him.

Police found 25 grams of crack in the vehicle when they arrested Arens.

Arens admitted to having a severe drug addiction at the time of his arrest. In the nine months he was out on bail in advance of the fatal crash trial, he admitted to smoking three to four grams of crack cocaine, at a minimum, daily.

He was acquitted of a trafficking charge, but found guilty of the lesser included offence of possession of a controlled substance. Holmes said that while he was found with a digital scale and an imitation firearm, it is difficult to prove trafficking without a cellphone.

Holmes said it is quite clear that at the time of the incident Arens had a significant addiction problem and it likely contributed to the circumstances that led to his arrest.

Currently in Bowden Institution, Arens said his time in jail likely saved his life. He had a major drug problem and thought he would die if he kept using.

Upon his release, he faces a 10-year driving prohibition. Holmes added another 27 months to that prohibition with the new charges.

Holmes also ordered Arens to provide a sample of his DNA and issued a five-year weapons prohibition.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com