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Toronto Gas-And-Dash Killer Of South Asian Man Gets 16 Years Jail Without Parole

TORONTO – The gas-and-dash killer of a South Asian man in Toronto was found guilty of second-degree murder last month and this week he was sentenced to 16 years in jail without parole.

Max Tutiven, who was responsible for the 2012 gas-and-dash that killed a Toronto gas station attendant Jayesh Prajapati, was sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 16 years.

Tutiven was found guilty by a jury last month.

Forty-four-year-old Prajapati was killed when he tried to stop a driver from leaving without paying for gas, reported Canadian Press.

Both the Crown and defence had asked for a life sentence, but the difference was on parole.

Prosecutors argued Tutiven should have no chance of getting out for 17 years, while the defence was asking for parole in 12 years.

Tutiven had pleaded not guilty, telling court that he thought he had hit a pylon and not a person.

Prajapati died in the hospital after Tutiven’s SUV dragged him down Roselawn Ave. for 78 metres. Prajapati’s body was then dislodged and Tutiven drove away.

“We are obviously very satisfied with the verdict the jury came back with,” said Toronto Homicide Det. Robert North outside the courthouse after the guilty verdict was announced last month. “I thought we presented a very strong case against Mr. Tutiven. I am not overly surprised (of the verdict).”

Tutiven was charged with second-degree murder in Montreal in 2015. A second-degree murder charge indicates a killing is intended but not planned.

In his closing arguments, Tutiven’s defence lawyer Edward Sapiano urged the jury to find his client guilty of manslaughter, not murder, indicating Tutivan had no intent to kill Prajapati.

Crown attorney Joseph Callaghan said in his closing argument that Tutiven’s testimony had been a “false narrative” — he saw Prajapati, felt the impact of hitting him and heard people yelling at him to stop.

Resident of a nearby apartment building, Trevor Bell, testified he could hear the sound of Prajapati being dragged in the wheels of the SUV from his 18th-floor unit.

Prajapati was a father and husband. A year after his death, his wife Vaishali Prajapati told the Toronto Star newspaper he was a caring man, who bathed and dressed her for a week when she broke her arm, played chess with their 12-year-old son every Sunday and worked six days a week.

Originally from India, he’d obtained his Canadian citizenship not long before he died.

 

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