Victims speak out at high profile murder trial in Barrie
A Barrie courtroom was filled with a mix of tears and anger as victim impact statements were read during sentencing submissions for one of two men found guilty of killing a well known First Nations man.
For the first time, family and friends got their chance to tell the court how Andrew Mixemong’s murder forever changed their lives, with Jessy Herlichka only metres away in the prisoners’ box.
In court, Mixemong’s sister Kimberley broke down giving her statement, saying “…you destroyed my family, you took my brother.”
Kimberley was also wearing the pink shirt she wore the last time she was able to hug her brother.
“So I was able to hug him and I kissed him and I told him I loved him, and then the blood from him on my shirt, I never washed it, it will stay with me forever,” said Kimberley Mixemong outside the courthouse.
A jury found Jessy Herlichka guilty of second-degree murder. In 2012, Andrew Mixemong was picking up his wife from work at a Deli in Midland. Herlichka and his friend, Paul McClung, came to the back of the restaurant. A fight broke out between Herlichka and Mixemong. He later died in hospital.
The big legal question lawyers were grappling with on Thursday in their submissions to the judge is when Jessy Herlichka will be eligible for parole. The crown is hoping the judge will keep him in jail for at least ten years, the defence doesn’t agree.
“Elgibility for parole is set for ten years, unless the crown apples for more. We’re asking for it to stay at ten years because that’s what’s fair, that’s what other people have received and everybody should be treated the same,” says Herlichka’s lawyer Robert Richardson.
Herlichka’s mother said she doesn’t believe her son meant to do what he did and says that he is sorry.
“I believe it was drug and alcohol induced but Jessy is a very kind and loving man and a great father and he’s not the person he’s being made out to be,” said Cynthia Herlichka.
Paul McClung was not in court on Thursday, but he is scheduled to appear on Friday when lawyers make their arguments about his sentence.