A Dartmouth teenager who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of 28-year-old Daniel Pellerin last summer has been sentenced to four years in youth custody.
Pellerin was found stabbed and seriously injured in the parking lot of Farrell Hall in Dartmouth on Aug. 29, 2014. He died later in hospital.
The teen, who was 15 years old at the time of the crime and whose identity is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was originally charged with first-degree murder.
He pleaded guilty in February to the lesser charge, avoiding a trial and the possibility of an adult sentence.
Crown and defence lawyers made a joint recommendation that the boy receive an intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision sentence. It means during the four years he is in custody, he will be the subject of intensive programs aimed at altering his violent, anti-social behaviour.
Once his four-year custodial sentence is complete, the teen will be closely supervised in the community for three more years.
In sentencing him, youth court Judge Anne Derrick said the rehabilitative sentence was the best under the circumstances.
'Sentence will not be a walk in the park'
"It is a sentence that represents a meaningful consequence that will hold him accountable and serve to promote his rehabilitation and reintegration into society, thereby contributing to the long-term protection of the public," the judge wrote.
"This sentence will not be a walk in the park," the judge continued.
"It will be challenging, demanding, and difficult. It has the potential of liberating you from the damage done by your experiences and the enormous burdens you are carrying of trauma and anger."
At his sentencing hearing, the teen told the judge: "I plan on doing something different for myself so that when I'm out I can be the one to show my brother the right way in life, so he doesn't make the same mistakes."
Several members of Pellerin's family filed victim impact statements.
"Their descriptions of their love for him, the loss they are struggling to endure, their enormous grief, and their pain have been gut-wrenching to read and listen to," Derrick wrote.
Another man, 23-year-old Trevor Hannan, is facing a charge of first-degree murder in Pellerin's death. His case has yet to be dealt with in court.