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Crown pushes for teen to be sentenced as an adult for fatal shooting in Barrie

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Warning: Some details in this article may be upsetting to some readers.

A young man who, at 17, admitted to pulling the trigger and ending the life of a fellow teen in Barrie could soon be sentenced as an adult.

The now almost 20-year-old's fate is in the hands of a judge in Orillia after he pleaded guilty last year to fatally shooting the 17-year-old boy in the head in the victim's driveway on November 19, 2021.

The court previously heard the deadly shooting was the result of a rivalry between the teens following a fight at a house party months prior, which escalated into a war of words online, including threats of violence and death. It was also shared with the court that the young man purchased a gun and made plans to kill the teen.

Two others, Alexander Craggs and another young man, have also pleaded guilty to their involvement on that night.

Craggs, who was 18 at the time, admitted to driving the shooter and the other teen to the victim's home. He pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder and was sentenced to three and a half years behind bars, with credit for pre-trial custody. He was also issued a lifetime weapons ban.

The other teen, who was 17 at the time, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for luring the victim out of his home by claiming to be thirsty and needing a drink before the shooter emerged and fired eight to 12 shots, killing the boy. He is scheduled to be sentenced in late April.

The maximum youth sentence for murder is 10 years.

In June last year, the court heard haunting impact statements from the victim's parents.

"A huge part of me died with him and continues to suffer every morning," his mother told the court.

"I feel his cold blood on my fingers," his father said. "The first thing I see, I hear, and I feel every morning is the sound of gunshots."

The psychiatrist who spoke with the shooter reported that he expressed remorse for his actions and detailed a history of abuse inflicted by his father. The psychiatrist concluded the young man grapples with mental health challenges, including signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The identities of the victim and the two youths involved are safeguarded under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and cannot be published.

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