Barrie man found guilty of murder as a teen, getting new trial
A Barrie man found guilty as a youth of stabbing a teen to death in Barrie is getting a new trial, after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled a previous verdict should be struck.
The Ontario Court of Appeal made the ruling based on what happened between police and the young man the night of the murder.
The accused was sixteen when he allegedly stabbed his cousin to death in Lackie’s Bush in Barrie on March 9, 2006.
The court says Barrie police officers breached the Youth Criminal Justice Act at the time of the suspect's detention, failing to read him his rights, and not telling him he could leave without giving a statement or of his right to have a lawyer or a parent present.
“Appalled, sick to my stomach, fell to the floor. Everything came rushing back.” That’s how the victim’s mother says she felt after learning the now 28-year-old man will get a new trial after the Ontario Court of appeal overturned his first-degree murder conviction.
The mother’s identity is not being revealed because the identity of the boys and their families are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
In a statement, the justice wrote
"This was a very serious case. A young male tragically lost his young life and another has spent numerous years in prison. This decision cannot alter either of these realities.
“The Crown’s going to have a bit of a tougher test to prove its case,” says Criminal Defence Lawyer Mitch Eisen.
Eisen, who has no ties to this case, says police have to be especially diligent in instructing youth appropriately before questioning.
“Any utterances that this man made at the time he wasn’t properly given his rights, ought not to be entered into evidence.”
For the victim’s mother, the court’s decision is unbearable.
“The thought that a technicality could have such a strong impact is heartbreaking.”
She vows to be at every court date, being strong for her son, and promising to be a strong voice for her only child.
The pretrial is set to begin August 3rd in Newmarket.