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Parents of boy shot dead in Barrie driveway deliver haunting statements at sentencing hearing


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

The grief-stricken parents of a teen killed in his driveway in Barrie in 2021 delivered haunting victim impact statements in court Thursday, recalling the day their "world was destroyed."

Their 17-year-old son, whose identity is protected under a publication ban, was shot and killed in front of his home on River Ridge Road in a southeast neighbourhood.

On Thursday, the sentencing hearing began for Alexander Craggs, who pleaded guilty to his part in the teen's death.

Craggs, who was 18 in November 2021, has admitted to being the driver of the car containing two youths, one of whom the court heard shot the victim.

The two youths' identities are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

During her victim impact statement, the teen's mother told the court she is burdened with the title of a mother whose child was murdered.

"I lost what it means to sleep through the night."

She told the court how she carries the agony of losing her youngest son and painted a portrait of a boy who filled a room with laughter and had a kind heart.

"[He] was that person that would go to the end of the earth to protect those he cared about, loved, especially to protect me," the mother added.

"My peace won't come until I feel that justice has been served," the victim's mother said. "Now I can only carry his memory and my love for him forever in my broken heart due to the choices made by Alexander Craggs.

"A huge part of me died with him and continues to suffer every morning that I open my eyes to know that my nightmare continues."

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

The court heard the victim's father describe the relentless pain he endures, haunted by the image of his son the day he died etched in his mind.

"I'm angry every morning by the time I get to the kitchen, thinking about those who planned and carried out the execution of my son. The shooter, the Judas and the driver who chose to let my son die knowing what was in store for him," he stated.

Alexander Craggs is pictured in this undated photo. (Source: Facebook)

Court heard Craggs, now 20, struggled with drug use and mental health issues.

His defence lawyer said her client made "the absolute worst decision of his young life," adding he "may not look it, but he is deeply remorseful."

The Crown argued Craggs chose to drive the car and not call 911, adding he knew the two youths would confront and shoot the teen.

The Crown and defence jointly recommended that Craggs, who has been behind bars since he was arrested, be sentenced to three and half years behind bars – credited with pre-sentence custody of time and a half.

Craggs lawyer asked Justice Phillip John Brissette to sentence Craggs to about 14 more months in jail for his part in the Barrie teen’s murder. 

For his part, Craggs faced the family and courtroom to offer an apology.

"I am human," he said. "I am not inherently bad."

"I don't know if I'm deserving of any mercy, but I ask that you please lend me some so that I may yet prove that I can be a positive influence in my community," he continued. 

Craggs pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder in December.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28. Top Stories

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