«This feels like closure, I suppose,» said Grant’s mom, Corinne De Patie.
Darnell Pratt, the man who killed Maple Ridge gas station attendant Grant De Patie in 2005, has died.
Grant’s mom, Corinne De Patie, told Postmedia News on Wednesday that she had just received a copy of Pratt’s death certificate in the mail. She said Pratt died on Feb. 13, 2019, in New Westminster, which was almost 14 years since her son was killed.
“It feels like closure, I suppose,” De Patie said from her home in Blind Bay. “It’s been 14 years, but we’re still messed up.”
On the night of March 8, 2005, Grant De Patie, 24, was working alone at a Shell gas station in Maple Ridge when Pratt, then 16, arrived in a stolen car, filled up his tank with $12.30 in gas and prepared to drive off. De Patie stood in front of the car to block Pratt’s path and Pratt drove on, dragging De Patie beneath the car for several kilometres.
Pratt pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a nine-year sentence that was dropped to seven years on appeal. Pratt was released on parole in 2010, five years after the killing, then sent back to prison for parole violations. Pratt was released again, then violated his parole again and was jailed again.
In 2015, Pratt was jailed for one day and given a year’s probation after being found guilty of theft of a car worth less than $5,000.
De Patie, a mother of five, said earlier this year a friend told her she had seen on Facebook that Pratt was in a coma.
“Then I heard a rumour that he had died and I had to know,” she said. “So I phoned the Ridge Meadows RCMP because we know who they are, and they had no information. Then my husband and the friend that told us he was in a coma went on a hunt and phoned the various hospitals. That didn’t get anywhere, so I called the B.C. Coroners Service and they said to get a hold of vital statistics.”
De Patie said that on March 8 she contacted the Vital Statistics Agency of B.C.
“The lady said that if (Pratt) was still alive then we would only get a letter. Then my husband went down to the marina this afternoon to check the mail and I got an envelope and inside was the death certificate,” she said.
Grant De Patie’s death led to changes in 2008 — dubbed Grant’s Law — requiring drivers to buy their gas before filling up.
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