The 73-year-old woman convicted in a fatal hit-and-run in downtown Chilliwack is appealing her sentence of two years less a day in jail.
Linnea Labbee was convicted on April 12, 2021 of one count of failing to stop at the scene of an accident after she hit and killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian in her pickup truck on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016.
Labbee not only drove away after killing Firoozian but she concocted an elaborate false alibi that complicated the police investigation.
She claimed innocence right up until the last minute asking for Justice Brenda Brown to return after she had sentenced her on Aug. 18, 2021.
“This was a very serious offence,” Justice Brown said at the sentencing noting that Labbee left the scene of the 2016 accident in order to escape liability and responsibility, which the judge called “reckless.”
Labbee claimed that someone had stolen her truck and was responsible for the hit-and-run. The alibi was found to have included lying, blaming others, forging documents and making serious allegations against police officers.
Firoozian succumbed to her injuries on Mary Street after she was struck by Labbee’s pickup truck while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk on Dec. 1, 2016.
Firoozian was mourned by the community following her death, and at a candlelight vigil attended by 100 people she was remembered as an extraordinarily kind and giving person. A roadside memorial with photographs and flowers was set up at the corner of Mary Street and Patten Avenue.
Firoozian’s son Riaz Bassari was present at the courthouse for the sentencing, as he had been for much of the trial.
“It was a long time coming,” Bassari said. “It’s good to finally have closure.”
The conviction last spring capped off a trial in Chilliwack in which Labbee had no lawyer, and defended herself.
The judge said she took the age and health of the offender into consideration in sentencing her to the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge. Justice Brown noted there was no specific health condition that prevented her from going to jail, and she would receive medical care there for any health issues she has.
Labbee’s appeal is scheduled for May 4.
– with files from Jennifer Feinberg
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.