Gas-and-dash killer back in prison

Darnell Pratt has breached release conditions again. It's the third time he's violated parole conditions.

Darnell Darcy Pratt was released from Kent prison in May. He is back in custody after violating his statutory release conditions.

Darnell Darcy Pratt was released from Kent prison in May. He is back in custody after violating his statutory release conditions.

The young man who dragged a Maple Ridge gas station attendant to his death is back in prison after violating parole conditions for the third time.

Darnell Darcy Pratt is reported to have 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.

Pratt was just 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 Maple Ridge without paying for gas.

De Patie’s family was notified about Pratt’s violation Monday morning.

“It’s no surprise to us and probably no surprise to anyone else,” said De Patie’s father Doug.

By law, most federal inmates are automatically released after serving two-thirds of their sentence. Pratt’s sentence officially ends July 22.

“Come July 22, he’ll be out without any supervision,” Doug De Patie added.

“He is bound and determined to take the wrong road. He’s got his course set in his own mind. Mr. Pratt is his own worst enemy. He’s like a runaway train: an accident waiting to happen.”

Pratt was released twice before and violated parole conditions within days on both occasions.

The 22-year-old 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.