Gangster’s sentence reduced on appeal

  • Jan. 26, 2011 4:00 p.m.

The prison term a Hobbema gangster received for a drive-by shooting that injured a toddler on the Samson reserve has been reduced by two years.

Christopher Shane Crane, 20, was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault, robbery with a firearm and two gun charges in the April 13, 2008 shooting that left 23-month-old Asia Saddleback with a bullet lodged near her heart.

In a decision released last week, the Court of Appeal of Alberta found the trial judge erred in his sentencing and reduced the sentence to seven years.

Court heard the charges resulted from two separate events on the same day: the robbery of a marijuana dealer, and the shooting of Saddleback.

Crane had been drinking with two other men to celebrate his 18th birthday and at 7 p.m. one of them drove Crane to the dealer’s house to rob him.

After fleeing with the stolen marijuana, they smoked the dope and drank more booze. Later, while being driven home, Crane fired a sawed-off .22-calibre rifle from the vehicle at the home of Saddleback’s grandfather.

Crane was a gang member and the shooting was intended as a warning to a rival gang. The bullet passed through the outer wall of the house and struck the toddler in the stomach area, hitting her liver and spine.

The panel of three appeal judges ruled the trial judge erred by not staying one of the gun charges, for which he gave Crane an additional year, and ruling a one-year consecutive sentence had to be given on the other gun charge.

The original prison sentence levied was 13 years, however Crane was given four years credit for the two years he served in pre-trial custody.

Saddleback has recovered from the shooting, but will live with a bullet lodged in her spine because doctors decided it would be too risky to remove it.