Guilty verdict in Barrie assault trial
It was an emotional day for a Barrie family, waiting for a verdict in the case of two men on trial for aggravated assault.
Ryan Turcotte's parents couldn't hold back the tears as they left the courthouse on Tuesday night after cousins Courtney and Aaron Lewis were both convicted of aggravated assault. The guilty verdict brought relief, joy and even sadness.
“I am grateful for the decision the jury made. I would like to have one moment back with my son. Who he was in this world before the accident,” says Kerry Turcotte. “It's a sad day for their family. It's a sad day for our family, after all they are all young lives.”
“Just relief. I couldn't go home and see myself telling Ryan, not-guilty,” says Rick Turcotte.
The jury made the decision in just over three hours. Neither Lewis had much to say leaving the courthouse.
The charges go back to June 2012, when Turcotte was seriously hurt during a fight. A bus brought a group of people to Duckworth Plaza in Barrie after a concert in Bala.
Witnesses testified Turcotte and Aaron Lewis had been in a pushing match on the bus. When the bus arrived, Courtney Lewis was waiting in the parking lot. That's when a fight broke out and it was all caught on video.
The facts of the video were contested during the trial. Defence lawyers said it was impossible to make out who was who in the video.
For Turcotte's parents, Tuesday was the end of a long road, even though as a family, they still have miles to travel.
Turcotte's brain injury still affects him, and his recovery is far from over.
“It has been a strain on the family. We've tried to hold it together as much as possible with the help of friends and family,” says Turcotte’s father. “All we can hope for in the next step is justice.”
Even though a verdict has been handed down, a sentence was not given. That will be done by a judge in the coming weeks.