Drunken Driver Who Rammed Campers Gets Prison Time

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September 1, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Two boys saw the lights of the stolen commercial cube van approaching their tent in the middle of the night. One curled up in a fetal position moments before the impact nearly crushed his legs.

Jeremy Kieran Munn, 24, of Chelmsford, Ontario, will stay in jail another two years for drunk driving and leading three police services on a chase that reached the Beaucage Tent and Trailer Park where teachers and students camped as part of an educational program, The North Bay Nugget reported.

Initial reports indicated all the students fled the tent before it was hit, but the court heard two boys were inside during the "early morning of sheer terror" described by one of the teachers in a letter submitted during Munn's sentencing today (Sept. 1).

Munn's rampage started at 2 a.m. on June 9 after drinking a 26-ounce bottle of rum and "eight or nine beers" at a local hotel. He stole a cube van from the Azilda contracting company where he worked and drove dangerously downtown and around city streets, running red lights and stop signs, destroying property at the North Bay Regional Health Center parking area and driving in the wrong lane on Highway 17 to avoid a spike belt.

The court heard bars were letting out at around that time, and North Bay Police Service tried to keep patrons off the streets.

Munn pleaded guilty last month to endangering life, stealing the van, threatening to use it as a weapon, dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and driving with almost twice the legal limit of alcohol his blood.

He didn't have a driver's license at the time for unpaid fines, owes another $5,000 fine for his actions that night and won't be able to apply for a license for at least five years.

"I'd like to say I'm very ashamed of my actions," Munn said, blaming his alcohol-induced blackout for not remembering anything about his driving.

The court heard about Munn's troubled childhood and alcohol abuse, although he's also described as a good employee, husband and father.

He has remained in custody since his arrest June 9. Defense counsel Ian McLean recommended an "unusual" sentence of almost two years under house arrest for Munn to support a young family and deal with alcohol abuse.

Police saw it another way.

The court heard Munn repeatedly flipped his middle finger at police and smiled during the chase, and nearly ran them down as he reversed while trying to get away when officers cornered him on Margaret Road in Commanda Township.

The pursuit involved provincial and Anishinabek police.

Crown attorney Paul Condon recommended three years in jail.

He compared it to the same sentence Jack Tobin, son of former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin, received in Ottawa this week for getting drunk and running over his friend while spinning donuts on the icy roof of a parking garage on Christmas Eve last year.

Munn has a criminal record, but he never killed anyone even though he came close, said Ontario Court Justice Jean-Gilles Lebel.

The judge also rejected the suggestion of house arrest, saying the public would lose confidence in courts to impose an appropriate sentence in these circumstances.

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