Murdered employee inspires pizza CEO to lobby for law change

July 13, 2011 | by Cherryh A. Butler

Pizza Hotline's CEO Jerry Cianflone hopes he can help prevent another "senseless murder."

Cianflone has purchased 30-second radio spots to express his outrage that the two teenagers who allegedly killed one of his employees, 54-year-old Gerald Crayford, during a robbery could face less than four years in prison.

The 15- and 18-year-old suspects have been charged with second-degree murder, but Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act mandates that the maximum sentence for second-degree murder is seven years. And offenders could possibly serve up to only four years of the sentence.

"I was close to his family and wanted to help but didn't know what do," said Cianflone, who oversees the Winnipeg-based pizza chain. "There was so much frustration from all of us, but especially from Gerald's wife, about how an individual could commit murder and not spend much time in jail. How can that happen?"

Cianflone knows changing laws is a long, involved process, but he hopes the radio ads urging people to "get behind our police and stop the revolving-door justice system," will get his message out and inspire other Canadians to demand changes.

"We've gotten emails and calls to our stores, so it's obvious that the message is resonating with a lot of people," he said. "We're not sure where this will go, but we are trying to bring awareness. Hopefully, we can bring enough attention, so positive changes can be made."

The law protects the 15-year-old suspect's identity, but the other suspect, Byron Charlie Bushie is due in court July 22.

Topics: Delivery , Insurance / Risk Management , Operations Management , Social Responsibility

Cherryh A. Butler / Cherryh Butler has been a reporter for nearly 10 years, writing on a variety of topics ranging from the restaurant industry to business and health and fitness news. Before joining as editor, she oversaw and and contributed to She's also written for several daily newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine.
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