Judge sentences Jason Marsh to 12 years saying he was lucky he didn't kill someone

Jason Marsh has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his involvement in two shootings in St. John's in 2013.

With credit for time served, Marsh has seven more years left in his sentence

Justice William Goodridge told Jason Marsh that he knew he would be getting a long sentence. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

In sentencing Jason Marsh for two St. John's shootings on Friday, Justice William Goodridge was blunt.

"It was lucky they didn't die. They could have died."

Goodridge sentenced Marsh to 12 years in prison for wounding two men in separate incidents in 2013.

Speaking in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, he told Marsh that what he did, "has to be condemned with a high sentence."

Marsh, 39, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for a shooting at Williams Heights near Bowring Park on Nov. 11, 2013, and for an incident on Boyle Street on Sept. 9, 2013.

In September, Marsh fired a shotgun blast at Kyle Mullett, striking him in the chest and arm.

Two months later, Marsh sent a spray of .22-calibre bullets into the house in Williams Heights hitting Charlie Lacosta at least three times — in the stomach, and right leg.The magazine on the gun held 30 rounds. 

Jason Marsh has told the court he wants to turn his life around. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

Lacosta had several operations and was told he might lose his leg. Fortunately, that hasn't happened, but the former construction worker hasn't been able to work since. 

Justice Goodridge said the sentence has to be strong enough to show these are terrible crimes, and must also be long enough to, "deter you and others who want to do it again."

Up to Marsh now

Marsh was arrested on August 1, 2014 and has been in custody since then.

Goodridge noted that Marsh has taken part in several rehabilitative programs.

"You have half your life left, and you have to determine how you handle it," he said at sentencing.

Marsh's lawyer, Arnold Hussey, had previously told the court that Marsh had a rough start in life.

Jason Marsh being lead out of Supreme Court in St. John's on Friday after sentencing for two shootings in St. John's. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

He was sexually abused when he was five, and had to be taken from the family home, and that when he was brought back seven years later, he witnessed his mother being abused by her drunken boyfriend.

No excuse

Goodridge said he recognized that was not a good beginning, saying, "It doesn't seem fair. [But] it was a long time ago. It doesn't excuse what you did."

Marsh was given almost five years credit for his pre-sentence time in custody, which means he will have about seven years left to spend in prison.

He and another man, Christopher Shaw, were originally charged with attempted murder for the Lacosta shooting. 

Shaw, 34, pleaded guilty to weapons charges and in August was sentenced to three and a half years.

About the Author

Glenn Payette

Videojournalist

A veteran journalist with more than 30 years' experience, Glenn Payette is a videojournalist with CBC News in St. John's.