If you were the judge tasked with sentencing the teenager (now 19) found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of York Region police officer Constable Garrett Styles, what sentence would you hand out?
The defence, headed by lawyer James Lockyer, wants the teen (identified only as S.K.) to serve his sentence at home, while the Crown wants the man to spend the maximum of 6 years in open custody at a youth facility. He would not serve time with adults; had he been sentenced after he turned 20, which happens just days after his Nov 16 sentencing date, he would do time with the older crowd.
S.K. was pulled over by Styles on June 28, 2011 after taking his family’s minivan for a joyride, something he admits he had done 20 times before. When Styles reached in to grab the keys, the then-15-year-old S.K. hit the gas, dragged the cop, and ultimately rolled the van on to the officer, killing him.
Before you make your decision, the defence reminds you that the accident has left S.K. a quadriplegic.
Lockyer told the court on Friday that his client “is already his own prisoner: a prisoner of his wheelchair, a prisoner of his bed.”
He can’t use the bathroom or brush his teeth by himself, and must be turned over multiple times during night.
Is S.K. not locked in a physical prison of his own making? Has he not suffered enough? Despite his injuries, does this teen deserve to do his time for committing the crime?