Victim's family slams 7-year sentence for Arvin Golic as 'absolute garbage'

Luka Gordic died after he was swarmed and stabbed by a group of teens in the Whistler village in 2015.

Luka Gordic died after he was swarmed and stabbed by a group of teens in 2015

Gordic was stabbed and killed by a group of teenagers in Whistler in 2015. He was 19 years old. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

There was fury inside the courtroom and out on Tuesday, after Arvin Golic was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the stabbing death of Luka Gordic.

Gordic was just 19 years old when he was swarmed and stabbed by a group of teenagers outside a 7-Eleven in Whistler, B.C. in 2015.

Golic, who was 18 at the time, was found guilty of manslaughter in June. Subtracting time served, he will spend five years behind bars.

Arvin Golic was found guilty of manslaughter in the stabbing death of Luka Gordic in June. He was sentenced on Tuesday morning. (Arvin Golic/Instagram)

"This is disgusting," the victim's mother, Clara Gordic, told reporters outside B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

"My son's not here anymore and he gets seven years. It's terrible."

Father Mitch Gordic was outraged: "What the hell? What kind of system is this? It makes you sick."

More than 50 people packed the courtroom for the sentencing on Tuesday, with around a dozen police officers stationed outside for security.

Friends and family started shouting as the sentence came down, drowning out the judge. One woman yelled at Golic as he stood in the prisoner's box and police escorted others out of the room.

Milos Gordic remembers his younger brother, Luka 0:58

Milos Gordic, the victim's older brother, stormed out of the courtroom, calling the sentence a "disgrace" and "absolute garbage."

"He's a beautiful bright kid. He was the kind of kid that walked my grandma around the lake. He went grocery shopping with my mother. He worked out with my mom. He's just a beautiful kid. And he was killed for absolutely nothing," Milos Gordic told reporters outside the court.

"We're obviously pissed off. These guys, they not only killed Luka, they killed my mom and my dad and my grandparents and everybody. They killed a community, shattered my life."

'An exceptional young man'

Gordic had been in Whistler with some friends for a May long weekend trip when he was killed.

He was separated from his group when he went into the convenience store to buy a bag of chips on May 17. The Burnaby teen was attacked when he came outside and died from multiple stab wounds.

Gordic has been described as a confident, "simple, sweet guy" who loved his friends and family — especially his big brothers.

Crown counsel Henry Reiner has emotional reaction to case 0:54

Crown prosecutor Henry Reiner choked up Tuesday as he spoke with reporters about the slain young man.

"Luka Gordic was clearly an exceptional young man and to be swarmed and killed for less than a good reason — no one deserves to be killed that way," Reiner said.

"The family are very disturbed. I don't blame them. Not that I condone acting out in court, obviously not, but just imagine your child being killed, particularly in this way. It's profoundly disturbing."

3 others convicted

In early October, three youths were also found guilty in Gordic's death. Two were convicted of manslaughter and a third was convicted of second-degree murder.

They can't be named because they were 17 when the crime happened.

The Crown has said it will be seeking adult sentences in their cases. 

Gordic was stabbed outside the 7-Eleven in Whistler village on May 17, 2015. He'd gone inside to buy a bag of chips. (Belle Puri/CBC)

Golic's lawyer had asked for a four to five-year sentence, arguing that his client had "a limited role" in Gordic's death.

Matthew Nathanson also said Golic was remorseful and had finished several rehabilitation courses during his time in custody.

Prosecutors had asked for at least a nine-year sentence.

Family members believe Gordic was targeted because he'd criticized the way one of Golic's friends treated a woman in Whistler.

Luka Gordic, right, with a friend in a photo displayed at Gordic's funeral in May 2015. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Police have never specified a motive, but the family believed there was enough evidence to warrant a second-degree murder charge — something they pushed for during and after the manslaughter trial.

In June, the judge said the Crown failed to prove that Golic planned to kill the 19-year-old. 

He was meant to be sentenced on Sept. 13, but the Crown introduced evidence that Golic had threatened his ex-girlfriend, who was a Crown witness.

The judge allowed that evidence.

With files from Tanya Fletcher