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Man walks free after serving eight years in fatal stabbing

'He had already done a substantial amount of time. It saved the court system time and money,' says Terrence Barrett 's defence lawyer following appeal
2019-04-25 Courtroom RB 5
A look inside a Barrie courtroom is shown in a file photo. | Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

A Barrie man who won a new trial after appealing his second-degree murder conviction is now free following eight years in prison.

Terrence Barrett was convicted of second-degree murder following a jury trial on Oct. 18, 2017, and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years.

Milan “Mike” Segota died after being was stabbed 22 times at a local rooming house on Feb. 15, 2015. Barrett claimed self-defence.

Last year, the Ontario Court of Appeal sent his case back to trial court. It found there was “an air of reality to the defence of provocation” and the judge should have instructed the jury on provocation as an alternative defence theory.

Provocation, if accepted by the jury, could have resulted in a conviction of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

“Our view and the Court of Appeal’s view, too, was the defence of provocation should have been left with the jury. If provocation had been left to the jury as a possible defence that would leave open a manslaughter conviction as a possible verdict,” providing the jury with the option of manslaughter, in addition to a murder conviction or an acquittal, said Barrett’s lawyer, Breana Vandebeek.

Barrett, now 37, ultimately pleaded guilty to manslaughter before Christmas.

The joint position by both the Crown and defence lawyers was that he should be sentenced to time served.

“There was negotiations with the Crown and because Mr. Barrett had done a significant amount of time in custody … Everyone was of the view that a joint position of time served was fair on the plea of manslaughter because then we didn’t have to re-do the trial again,” said Vandebeek. “The plea itself and the time served was a right result in the circumstances. He had already done a substantial amount of time. It saved the court system time and money.

“It was basically another avenue … that was never left to them.”