Ex-Maple Leaf handed four-year prison term
Aaron Harris/Torstar News Service
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rob Ramage was expected to return to St. Louis today, still a free man but with a prison sentence hanging over his head.
After being given a four-year prison sentence yesterday morning for causing the death of ex-Chicago Blackhawk Keith Magnuson, 56, while driving impaired, Ramage was released from custody just after 2:30 p.m. after defence lawyer Brian Greenspan filed an appeal of both his conviction and the sentence.
The Ministry of the Attorney General’s Crown Law Office agreed in advance to Ramage’s release in an arrangement worked out earlier in the week, before Justice Alexander Sosna passed sentence, said York Crown attorney Paul Tait.
Such an arrangement "happens fairly frequently on a case-by-case basis," said Tait, who helped prosecute Ramage.
It will be at least a year before a new trial, if granted by the Ontario Court of Appeal, will take place, said Greenspan, who told reporters Ramage’s sentence is "excessively harsh."
Ramage appeared crestfallen when it was announced. His wife, Dawn, cried.
The four-year term is believed to be among the stiffest ever given in Ontario to somebody with no previous record for drinking and driving, according to legal experts.