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Barrie man released from prison after successfully appealing murder conviction

After spending nearly eight years behind bars for the stabbing death of Milan (Mike) Segota, Terrence Barrett is a free man.

The 37-year-old Barrie father of two was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury in 2017 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years.

However, he appealed the conviction, arguing the judge had failed to instruct the jury to consider provocation as a defence.

"There was evidence from his own testimony plus the evidence of various independent witnesses that put that defensive play, so the Court of Appeals ruled that the defensive provocation should've been left with the jury, and it was sent back for a retrial," said Barrett's defence lawyer Breana Vandebeek.

However, instead of a retrial, Barrett entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter in December, which ultimately led to his release.

Vandebeek said the Crown and the defence agreed that a fair resolution was to enter a plea of manslaughter to avoid a new trial and spare the witnesses from testifying again.

Barrett was first arrested in February 2015 after a fight broke out in a rooming house on Ross Street in Barrie.

He testified Segota got into an argument with Barrett's girlfriend and was trying to kill him.

Fearing for his life, Barrett stabbed Segota 22 times in the chest.

At his sentencing in 2017, Segota's family expressed their disappointment that he would have to wait only 13 years to apply for parole.

"People have choices. They make their own choices. Terrence Barrett made his choice, taking our brother's life," said Segota's sister, Snezana Baresic, in November 2017.

Following his manslaughter guilty plea, Barrett was credited with 10 and a half years served in pre-sentence custody, found not guilty of second-degree murder and released to try and start his life over.

Barrett's defence lawyer believes the appeals process worked in this case.

"It’s not fair for someone to go to trial and not have the jury properly instructed on how they should make their findings," said Vandebeek.

Had Barrett not appealed his second-degree murder conviction, he would not have been eligible for parole for another five years.

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