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High court calls out Chilliwack 73-year-old’s ‘elaborately concocted alibi’ in fatal hit-and-run

B.C. Court of Appeal releases reasons for dismissing Linnea Labbee’s appeal of 2-year jail sentence
Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021. Labbee was sentenced to two years less a day with two years of probation on Aug. 18, 2021 for failure to stop at crosswalk accident that caused the death of a 78-year-old woman. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The 73-year-old Chilliwack woman with an “elaborately concocted alibi” to try to get away with hitting and killing a 78-year-old woman with a pickup truck had her appeal dismissed in court.

Linnea Labbee literally drove over Fourghozaman Firoozian on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016 and fled the scene where she had killed the beloved elderly woman.

“After striking and driving over top of the victim, Ms. Labbee pulled her truck over and stopped,” is how the B.C. Court of Appeal described the crime. “She looked back at Ms. Firoozian lying motionless on the ground, but after a moment sped away and drove straight to a nearby mall.”

The Progress reported on the dismissal by the Court of Appeal on May 4 when it happened in Vancouver, but the reasons were only published by the high court on May 26.

Labbee was was convicted in April of 2021 of one count of failing to stop at the scene of an accident. She was sentenced to two years less a day.

READ MORE: 73-year-old Chilliwack woman gets jail time in fatal hit-and-run case from 2016

She appealed the sentence as unfit arguing the judge who sentenced her erred by treating her disbelieved testimony at trial as an aggravating factor, and by giving insufficient weight to her health issues.

She asked for a conditional sentence or a shorter period of incarceration of nine months.

The three-judge panel dismissed her appeal after a hearing that lasted less than an hour.

The court ruled that it was not made an aggravating factor that the sentencing judge did not believe what Labbee said at trial, it was because she set up the elaborate alibi, claiming her truck was stolen, an alibi she pursued for years leading up to trial.

“It was the obstructionist behaviour following the offence and during the police investigation that the sentencing judge considered aggravating.”

As for her health issues, Labbee was given repeated opportunities at sentencing to provide a note from a doctor but she did not.

“Ms. Labbee did not provide any independent evidence of her medical conditions, despite the judge strongly suggesting that she do so. The judge nonetheless accepted that Ms. Labbee had health issues and that jail would not be easy for her.”

In fact, Justice Brenda Brown told Labbee that her medical issues could be accommodated in prison and took that into account when sentencing.

Labbee is serving her sentence at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge.

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A roadside memorial at Mary Street and Patten Avenue in Chilliwack in December 2016 near where 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian was killed by a hit-and-run driver. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)