A Barrie man convicted and sentenced for first degree murder, will be re-sentenced after his conviction was downgraded.

In 2010, a jury found Joseph Nicholson guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Joey Tanner. The court of appeal downgraded that to second-degree murder, ruling the trial judge didn't properly instruct the jury specifically on planning and deliberation.

Days shy of the 10th anniversary of Tanner's death, his mother Liz Hoage was back in a Barrie court room on Tuesday to face the man convicted of his murder.

"It’s very difficult. It just takes you right back to the day it happened. It rips my heart out all over again," she says.

Tanner's mother and two aunts gave emotional victim impact statements speaking of their struggle to come to terms with his death.

“We still grieve the loss of our beautiful loving son and brother Joey. This was the hardest lesson in life to learn you have to get past the anger quilt and then the loss because we have fought so hard to hang on but also fought so hard to let go.

Lawyers are disputing when Nicholson should be eligible for parole. The Crown wants 16 years saying Nicholson's criminal record includes 29 previous convictions, most for assault and breach of probation.

The defence wants 12 to 14 years, arguing Nicholson had a troubled upbringing and has made attempts for rehabilitation while incarcerated.

At one point, the judge gave Nicholson an opportunity to address the court. He stood up in the prisoner's box, looked directly at Tanner's family and repeatedly apologized.

"I never intended for it to escalate like it did that day. I was young and very stupid and didn’t think about my actions until it was too late,” he said. “I'm very sorry for what I’ve done. Your son did not deserve to die. I know that, but I’m going to take responsibility for my actions.”

"He has no remorse, he's just playing the game and that will get him parole that much sooner," says Hoage.

The judge will sentence Nicolson on Aug. 11.