De Patie killer out of prison

Darnell Pratt, convicted of dragging a Maple Ridge gas station attendant to death, has been paroled to a half-way house in Victoria

Darnell Pratt

The young man who dragged a Maple Ridge gas station attendant to his death six years ago is back out of prison, little more than year after he violated conditions of his first release.

Darnell Darcy Pratt has been given a second chance at parole and was released from a federal penitentiary on Nov. 3.

He will be paroled to a half-way house in Victoria, said Doug De Patie, whose 24-year-old son Grant was killed by Pratt in 2005.

The last time Pratt was granted statutory release, in June 2010, he violated curfew and was back in prison within 48 hours.

“He’s worse than he was when he went in,”said De Patie.

“The primary goal of sentencing is rehabilitation and where was that? The adult system has been terrible for him.”

A parole board decision released in September revealed that Pratt, now 22, will have a difficult time staying away from a life of crime.

He has racked up institutional charges while in prison for a slew of incidents, including using drugs, drinking alcohol, verbally abusing corrections staff, and assaulting another inmate.

“Your institutional behaviour has been very poor,” the board said in a decision that imposed several special conditions on Pratt’s statutory release.

“You have used drugs, incurred several institutional charges and are described as periodically uncooperative with your Case Management Team.”

Pratt was first granted statutory release in June 2010 and ordered to live in a Kamloops halfway house.

He reported to the residence and met his 8 p.m. curfew, but failed to return the next day.

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest and Kamloops RCMP found Pratt 48 hours later, walking along a Kamloops street.

The parole board heard that Pratt went to a pub twice while on the lam and was found with a powdery substance, believed to be heroin, when he was arrested.

Since his return to prison, Pratt has not participated in any correctional programs and gotten into fights that required his transfer to another medium security facility.

Following the transfer, the violence continued.

The De Patie family isn’t optimistic Pratt will follow the strict conditions imposed on him this time, either.

“I feel sorry for the community he is released in. Wherever Mr.Pratt is, trouble will follow close behind,” said De Patie. “It is just a matter of time before something terrible happens.Now it’s up to the parole board and police to actually catch him at his crimes because he has no other way to fit in or support himself. Things that he talked about before – being a counsellor, taking welding – none of those things have come to fruition.

“He is his own worst enemy.”

Pratt has been assessed as a “moderate” risk to re-offend.

He was just 16 in March 2005 when he struck Grant De Patie in a stolen car while fleeing an Esso station on Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge without paying for gas.

Pratt dragged the 24-year-old under the car for 7.5 kilometres.

While on parole, Pratt will be bound by several special conditions that include having to live in a half-way house or community correctional centre; abstaining from intoxicants; not associating with criminals and having no contact with the De Patie family.

He will also have no overnight leave privileges until he has shown stability in the community.

His sentence officially ends on 12 July 2012.

Just Posted

OP-ED: Improving access to justice means modernizing legal practice

Use of technology in law firms could help British Columbians afford essential legal services.

UPDATED: Man reportedly stabbed with ‘pen’ in downtown Maple Ridge

Woman arrested, man refused to go to hospital: Ridge Meadows RCMP

Maple Ridge vet trying not to euthanize spotted salamanders

Without permits, he can only send them to zoos.

No negligence in RCMP actions in B.C. teen’s overdose death: Watchdog

A Maple Ridge woman started an online petition called Justice for Carson Crimeni.

LETTER: Pitt Meadows should have lowest taxes

New council seems set on its own vision of a restyled Pitt Meadows.

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

Small Fraser Valley district listed among top five per capita in B.C.

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

15-year-old charged following threat to South Surrey high school

Police announce pair of teens arrested for Nov. 14 incident at Elgin Park Secondary

TransLink CEO ‘hopeful’ SkyTrain shutdown can be averted with last-minute deal

No extra buses will be on the roads if strike goes ahead

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Most Read