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Gas-and-dash killer out of prison

Darnell Pratt was scheduled to be released from prison on Sunday (July 22). - RCMP photo
Darnell Pratt was scheduled to be released from prison on Sunday (July 22).
— image credit: RCMP photo

The young man who dragged a Maple Ridge gas station attendant in 2005 is out of prison.

Darnell Darcy Pratt's sentence for manslaughter ended July 22.

Pratt was 16 in March 2005, when he struck and killed 24-year-old gas station attendant Grant De Patie in a stolen car while fleeing an Esso station on Dewdney Trunk Road in east Maple Ridge without paying for gas.

De Patie's family however has little faith in Pratt's rehabilitation. The 22-year-old violated parole conditions three times when he was previously released from prison.

"I think he is more than likely to reoffend," said Doug De Patie, Grant's father.

"It's just a question of whether he gets caught. I am sure Mr. Pratt is going to find himself in trouble again."

In June, Pratt breached a condition of his statutory release in Victoria on Vancouver Island, a month after he was released from the maximum-security Kent Institution in Agassiz.

He also failed to return to Victoria halfway house he was staying at two days after his last statutory release in November.

Police issued a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest and he surrendered himself to police after two weeks.

Pratt was first granted statutory release in June 2010, but violated curfew just two days after he was paroled to a Kamloops halfway house.

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Pratt pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in May 2006 as an adult to nine years minus time served, for a total of seven years and three months in prison.

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