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Teen gets 10 years for murder of boy at Barrie foster home

18-year-old serve will six years in custody followed by four years of conditional supervision in the community

Editor's note: The following story contains graphic descriptions heard in court that may be unsuitable for some readers.

Three-and-a-half years after fatally stabbing his 15-year-old group home housemate, a teenager was sentenced to 10 years in jail today.

The teenager, now 18, and whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, showed no emotion as Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst read the sentence, which is the maximum youth sentence for first-degree murder. 

“Were it not for the guilty plea and the progress that (the 18-year-old) has made while at Sprucedale (Youth Centre), an adult sentence would be warranted,” said Fuerst at the Barrie courthouse.

The 10-year sentence, jointly submitted by the Crown and the defence, will see the 18-year-old serve six years in custody followed by four years of conditional supervision in the community.

Fuerst also agreed to the joint submission suggestion of no credit for predisposition custody, saying that would “fail to hold you accountable.”

There will also be a DNA order and weapons prohibition order for life as well.

On Feb. 19, 2019, the two teens were living in a Penvill Trail group home when the attack occurred.

The initial confrontation happened in the victim’s first-floor bedroom. Court heard the teenager pursued him on the second floor as the boy sought help from his foster father.

The attack was so severe, the victim suffered a punctured lung, as well as wounds to his liver and neck as the accused broke off the handles of the two knives used in the assault.

Fuerst recounted today that at one point, the 18-year-old stabbed his victim while looking at the foster parent.

The family of the victim wept during today’s proceedings.

Court heard the 15-year-old victim had never been in trouble with police before. His attacker, a permanent Crown ward since 2017, had been moved to Barrie from the Hamilton area in 2018 because of behavioural issues.

The issues leading to the murder began after the bedroom of the foster father was broken into where he had been keeping medications, scissors and other sharp objects locked up in his room. The knives, which were later used in the attack, were taken from his second-storey room.

Fuerst read from an agreed statement of facts that the teenager thought the 15-year-old boy “ratted” him out.

Fuerst noted the 18-year-old has made positive gains at Sprucedale, including completing a math course, participating in anger-management and supportive counselling as well as participating in recreational activities.

She acknowledged he had a difficult upbringing that included abuse and noted he offered a guilty plea, which she said showed some remorse.

However, Fuerst noted he had a significant youth record and a history of violent behaviour.

Fuerst read that a forensic psychiatrist suggested the 18-year-old have ongoing psychiatric care and mental health support.

Neither the 18-year-old’s defence lawyer nor the family of the victim wanted to provide a comment after the sentencing.