Devontay Hackett has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Brandon Volpi outside an after-prom party at a downtown Ottawa hotel in June 2014.
- Jury hears closing arguments in Devontay Hackett murder trial
- Witnesses recount last moments of Brandon Volpi's life after prom night stabbing
The jury of eight men and four women took two days to come to a decision after being charged Tuesday evening following a trial that lasted about a month. Deliberations began Wednesday morning.
A large crowd showed up to hear the verdict Friday morning, including Volpi's family.
Hackett's face was expressionless as the verdict was read.
Volpi's father clasped his hands together and shook them with approval, while Hackett's mother brought a hand to her forehead, closed her eyes and looked toward the floor.
The defence for Hackett, who is now 21, had argued police never found the murder weapon and that the Crown didn't make a good enough case Hackett used it early in the morning of June 7, 2014, outside the Les Suites Hotel.
The Crown, meanwhile, argued that cellphone video of the fight outside the hotel shows Hackett killed Volpi, that the intent was clear given he was stabbed in the chest and had his throat slashed, and that Hackett fled to Toronto after Volpi's death, where he was found with the victim's blood on his watch about a month later.
After the verdict was delivered, Justice Charles Hackland asked jurors to go back and consider how long Hackett should be deemed ineligible for parole.
Nine of the jurors recommended Hackett be ineligible for parole for 10 years, the minimum length for a second-degree murder conviction. Three declined to offer any recommendation.
The Crown and Hackett's defence team will offer their own parole eligibility submissions on March 30. The Crown is expected to seek more than 10 years.
Hackett's lawyer Joe Addelman declined to comment on the verdict.
Ottawa Police Service Sgt. Darren Vinet, the lead investigator in the case, lauded the jury for delivering the correct verdict, calling Volpi's murder "a senseless death over an alleged stolen cell phone."
"This was supposed to be a high school prom, one of the most important days of these young people's lives," Vinet told CBC News.
"What many of these young people will remember of their prom is not a happy night — but a murder."