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The teen convicted of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Lindsay Lemieux will spend the next four years in a youth facility receiving intensive rehabilitation, counselling and supervision, a Sudbury judge ruled Friday.
Then he will be under community supervision for three years.
The Crown wanted the youth sentenced as an adult and subject to parole for the rest of his life, after serving at least five years, saying such a sentence provided the best protection for society.
But Superior Court Justice Robbie Gordon said if the youth, who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder and a learning disability, didn’t receive counselling there is no assurance parole supervision would prevent him from re-offending.
“Without treatment (the teen) is likely to be a problem for a long time to come,” said the judge.
The teen, who is now 16, was 14 when he stabbed Lemieux 80 times.
Her body was found on her living room floor Nov. 10, 2007.
The crime was “a brutal and senseless act of violence,” said the judge.
Unlike the sentencing of an adult for such a crime, “in this case I am not permitted to consider general deterrence.”
“The sentencing of a young person is mostly about that young person,” said the judge in a ruling which took about 30 minutes to read.
To spare the emotion of Lemieux’s family, the judge said he would not go over a detailed analysis of the evidence. “It was sufficient to say it was a brutal and senseless act of violence.”
The principles involved in sentencing a young person are different than for those of an adult, said the judge. In an adult sentencing, general deterrence or persuading others from doing the same thing is integral, he said.
This crime is “one of the most serious offences known to our society,” he said.
After reviewing both the positive and negative points about the teen that come out during the trial and the sentencing arguments, the judge said the teen “has all the ingredients to be rehabilitated.”
Under an Intensive Rehabilitation Custodial and Supervision order, there is a fund of as much as $100,000 a year available to spent for special counselling and treatment for the youth.
That treatment will begin as soon as a special oversight team is created to administer it. That team will consist of various treatment experts, staff from the institution the teen will be serving his time in, as well his parents.
During the seven-year sentence, the teen is prohibited from having contact with Lemieux’s family.
As he has throughout the entire trial process, the teen showed no emotion when the judge announced the sentencing decision.
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Nurse killer set to re-enter community
The Sudbury Star
The boy who stabbed a popular Sudbury nurse 80 times in 2007 in an alcohol-fuelled attack is now a 20-year-old man making good progress and is ready to be released into the community, although under strict conditions, a Sudbury hearing was told Thursday.
“Let me tell you how impressed I am with the progress you have made,” Superior Court Justice Robbie Gordon told the man.
“The comments you made today stand in contrast with the comments you made when I sentenced you four years ago. There’s been an increase in your maturity, an increase in your empathy, but there remains a great deal to be done.”
Gordon was referring to an apology the man issued to his victim, Lindsay Lemieux, her family and his family and friends during the special hearing in a Sudbury courtroom.
The young man — who cannot be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act because he was 14 when he murdered Lemieux — read a short letter to the packed courtroom.
“I want to apologize again,” he said. “I am very sorry for what I have done. I apologize to Lindsay’s family … and my family for what I have put them through. I want to express my gratitude to you now for providing me with these skills.”
“I would also like to express my gratitude for the family I have been given. I understand I have a long road ahead, but I truly believe with all the skills I have I will have a satisfactory road ahead in society.”
Back at his trial in 2008, he pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Lemieux’s lifeless body was found in the living room of her Val Caron home about 4:30 a.m. Nov. 10, 2007, by her boyfriend, who was returning home from work. She had been stabbed 80 times. The killer told his murder trial he doesn’t remember killing Lemieux or why.
The seven-year sentence he is serving is a unique Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision order. While the young killer had annual reviews of his sentence after each of the first three years of his sentence — mandatory under the Youth Criminal Justice Act — Thursd ay’s Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision hearing may have been the first held in Greater Sudbury.
He will now start the second part of his seven-year sentence in Sault Ste. Marie under community supervision. He served the first four year years of his sentence in youth detention facility in the Sault, where he received intensive treatment.
“Because of the nature of the crime, the court is going to be watching really closely,” Gordon told the young man. “No one is going to be hesitant if you are in contravention of one of the conditions, even if it’s slight.
“You have got to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. It’s necessary to keep you out of jail, but it’s also necessary to ensure your continued rehabilitation … We are trying to do this so at the end of the three years you are able to carry on with your life. No one wants you to succeed more than I do. I guarantee you that.”
Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision sentences are reserved for young murderers or recidivist serious violent offenders.
Gordon stressed it was important the man stay clear of alcohol and narcotics.
“Your alcohol and drug consumption were a big part of what happened,” he warned. “It’s another slippery slope. A beer doesn’t seem to matter, but one beer leads to five beers leads to 10 beers. One toke leads to another to another. If you get into that lifestyle again, you will find yourself in jail.”
Defence lawyer Terry Waltenbury told the court his client is a much different person after four years in custody, is a top student and is now capable of reintegration into society.
“He still seems to have some entitlement issues and dealing with the rights of others, but the bottom line is he seems to have no dearth of empathy,” said Waltenbury. “It is something he has learned a great deal about. The process seems to be working properly.”
Assistant Crown attorney Philip Zylberberg said the 20-year-old still posed a moderate risk to reoffend and a tough set of guidelines had to be in place to ensure the public is not at risk.
Zylberberg said it was very important that when the 20-year-old visits the supervising family’s seasonal residence on St. Joseph’s Island he not be exposed to criminal behaviour and alcohol or illegal drugs, as was the case in his youth.
“There was a general lack of supervision and enforcement of consequences,” he said.
“We wish to protect him and the community. His ability to go there and his mobility must be limited. There must be no alcohol or nonprescription drugs. We are talking about exercising significant control over him. Letting him be there unsupervised concerns me.”
Zylberberg said the many restrictions the 20-year-old will be bound by over the next three years may seem overly restrictive, but they are necessary.
“It’s a regime that is tight, but not so tight as to cripple his ability to resume his place in this society,” he said. “But it’s tight enough for a long time so his behaviour and mobility is strictly controlled.”
Conditions Lindsay Lemieux’s attacker must follow over the next three years:
* Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;
* Advise of any change of address/change of job, change in family situation, and school courses being taken;
* No weapons;
* No alcohol or illegal drug use;
* A curfew;
* Take any recommended treatment/counselling;
* Must stay within a 30- km radius of Sault Ste. Marie, unless approved in advance. But may attend the supervising family’s summer residence on St. Joseph’s Island as long as accompanied by one of them;
* No association with criminals;
* Attend school/find employment;
* No communication with relatives;
* Co-operate with police officers who may visit his residence.