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Emotions run high in Barrie courtroom at sentencing for man involved in teen's death

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Warning: Readers may find details in this article disturbing.

The father of a 17-year-old Barrie boy who was lured out of his home and shot to death in 2021 spoke in court on Tuesday at the sentencing hearing for one of the young men who pleaded guilty in the case. He described the nightmare he has lived since finding his son's lifeless body.

"I haven't had a good night's sleep since November 18, 2021," the man told the courtroom. "He died carrying water for a friend."

The court heard the young man lured the teen out of his home that night by telling him he was thirsty. When the teen came outside, another teen emerged and fired 16 shots, hitting the boy eight times in the head and neck, killing him instantly in his driveway.

"His last act of this earth was one of kindness," his father said, telling the court his son was hunted.

The victim's father told the courtroom he had thought he heard fireworks and opened the garage door to find his teenage son's body slumped over.

"To have him taken from me is crushing," he said. "Utterly destroyed in front of me."

During the shooter's guilty plea proceedings last year, the court heard the boy was killed because of a rivalry that escalated from a fight at a house party to a war of words online, including threats of violence and death.

The Crown highlighted how the shooter purchased a gun months prior with the intent to kill the teen.

"I feel rage and despair," the victim's father said.

Another man, who admitted to being the getaway driver, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of accessory after the fact to murder. He has since been released from custody.

"I've lost my son," the victim's father told the court. "I'm still unable to pass the bullet hole on the door frame."

During Tuesday's sentencing hearing, the young man's lawyer told the court his client "ran into a nightmare" and that his client's mistake "was that of a 17-year-old under extraordinary pressure."

The young man apologized to the court and his family and thanked them for their support.

Justice Esther Rosenberg is expected to deliver her sentencing decision next month.

A publication ban imposed by the court prevents the identities of those involved, including the victim, from being published.

With files from CTV's Mike Arsalides

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