Five years for vicious killing

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Five years for vicious killing

Victim’s mother infuriated

Drug users who resort to violence can expect to be dealt with harshly by courts, a judge said yesterday in sentencing a convicted killer to five years in prison.  Justice John Rooke said [the accused’s] crime warranted a seven-year term, but knocked off two years for the 13.5 months of remand time he’s already served.   And while the sentence was higher than the term proposed by the defence, it provided little solace for the mother of [the] manslaughter victim.

“I think the system sucks,” said [the mother], shortly after emotionally storming out of the courtroom after gasping at her son’s killer’s punishment.
“This guy stabbed my son 56 times,” [she] said.

The grieving mom disagreed with Rooke’s assessment [the accused] was remorseful for killing her son after the two had spent a night together drinking and doing drugs.  Before sentencing, [the accused] stood and turned towards [the mother], her son and a group of friends and apologized. 

“Knowing that he didn’t mean it, I think that hurts the most - he wasn’t sincere,” she said.     
“The fact that my son is gone and he’s still alive, his mother can go visit...I visit the cemetery,” [she] said.

Rooke said the fact the killing was drug-related called for an overall punishment greater than the tree to five years suggested by defence lawyer David Chow, minus credit for time served.

[the accused], 20, attacked [the victim], 18, with a meat cleaver inside the convicted killer’s Forest Lawn basement suite.  
[the accused] claimed he acted in self-defence, telling police [the victim] initially had the weapon, but jurors didn’t accept the story. 
[the accused] cut [the victim] 56 times causing him to bleed to death.  

[4] Killer guilty of lesser charge
The mother of an 18-year-old man killed during a meat cleaver attack by his friend, burst into tears and ran from a Calgary courtroom Thursday when he was found not guilty of second-degree murder.  [the mother], angered that her son’s killer was convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter, could be heard sobbing in the hallway outside the Court of Queen’s Bench courtroom.

“My son is gone. Where’s the justice?” [she] yelled.

It took jurors three days to render a verdict n the case.  [the accused] pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge, claiming he acted in self-defence when he was confronted last year by [the victim],18, in his bedroom and killed him with a meat cleaver.  The jury of eight men and four women instead convicted him of manslaughter.   Outside the courtroom, a brief confrontation between several of [the victim]’s friends and [the accused]’s lawyers, David Chow and Patrick Fagan, forced court sheriffs to step in.  Thursday‘s verdict ends a nearly month-long trial where jurors heard [the accused] and [the victim] spent the evening of the killing drinking and snorting cocaine.

In a videotaped interview with police, [the accused] insisted he was acting in self-defence when he killed [the victim] on Oct. 12. [the accused] said he and [the victim] had an argument over drug money earlier in the night.  The accused said he went home and watched a movie, then walked to his mother’s home two doors down to get some milk. He returned home and was surprised by [the victim], his friend since high school, wielding a weapon.  The pair struggled and [the accused] turned the cleaver on [the victim], inflicting 56 wounds. [the victim] bled to death.    

[the accused] has been remanded into custody until sentencing arguments scheduled for Sept.

Calgary Sun
By: Kevin Martin