Guilty plea in Spryfield senior's shooting death
Jerricho Upshaw pleads guilty to manslaughter in Glenn Oakley's death
A Halifax teenager has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of 70-year-old Glenn Oakley in Spryfield more than a year ago.
Jerricho Upshaw, 19, was originally charged with second-degree murder in Oakley's shooting death but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Monday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Upshaw also pleaded guilty to stealing, possession of stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card. A charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose will be dropped when Upshaw is sentenced on May 17.
Oakley left his Spryfield home just before 7 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2011, to take his usual 90-minute walk around the neighbourhood. His wife began worrying about him when he didn't return home.
Two women found Oakley lying on a sidewalk on Drysdale Road at about 10:30 p.m. He was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
In the days that followed, three people were charged in connection to his death — Upshaw, Christopher Picco and a teenager who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The youth is currently serving a 20-month sentence at the Nova Scotia Youth Facility after he was found guilty of manslaughter in October.
According to the agreed statement of facts, the teenager was the one who pulled the trigger in Oakley's death and also tried to use the man's stolen bank and credit cards after killing him, in what a judge called "an opportunistic, predatory and callous act."
Ron Lacey, the Crown prosecutor, said the youth's guilty verdict played a part in Upshaw's case.
"Certainly the decision at the provincial court or the youth court level was a thorough hearing of all the evidence and at the end of the day, the judge found it was a manslaughter case," Lacey told reporters outside the courtroom on Monday.
"It would follow that the person who's guilty as a party would then be guilty as a party to manslaughter."
Upshaw is currently serving a two-year prison term for being in contempt of the court, after he refused to answer a prosecutor's questions during the trial of his co-accused in September.
Lacey said the sentence Upshaw receives for manslaughter will likely be served after his current prison term.
Picco, who is charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact and possession of stolen property, has a trial scheduled for June.