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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

33-storey highrise proposal coming to Surrey council, first of three phases

Second and third phases include 36-storey and 31-storey towers

Surrey city council moving to virtual meetings

For public hearings, people can register to speak via telephone

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

Man injured in reported stabbing near Surrey SkyTrain station

Incident happened around 9 p.m. Friday night

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Most Read