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Barrie teen convicted of brutally murdering fellow teen deemed 'not ready to be safely released'

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Warning: Some readers may find the details of this article upsetting.

A Barrie teen convicted of murdering a 15-year-old boy in a foster home four years ago will remain in custody after a judge confirmed he wouldn't be released at a sentencing review hearing.

The now 19-year-old, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, appeared in court on Thursday, where Justice Michelle Fuerst announced he would continue his rehabilitation progress behind bars.

This was the first such hearing since he pleaded guilty last year to fatally stabbing the 15-year-old on February 19, 2019, and was handed a maximum 10-year sentence with no credit for time served in custody.

During the trial last year, the court heard the young offender attacked the victim in his bedroom at the Barrie foster home, stabbing him 20 times, severing his lung, neck and liver. The court also heard he used so much force he broke the handles of the knives he used during the murder. He was 14 at the time.

The two boys had been living under the same roof at the for-profit group home. Two other boys and a foster parent witnessed the deadly attack, telling the court they had vivid nightmares and were traumatized by what they had seen.

The victim's mother wrote to the court, stating, "My son will never be 16," adding, "The horror of what happened pulled the air out of my lungs."

The 19-year-old was told on Thursday that he was "not ready to be safely released to society" and that while he has made progress towards rehabilitation, there are things he needs to improve on.

"I hope that you continue to work on your goals and you continue to do well," Justice Fuerst concluded.

The sentencing review is part of an annual process available to convicted persons under the Youth Act.

As part of the young man's 10-year sentence, he is scheduled to spend five more years in custody, followed by another four years in a community setting.

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