Calgary

'I love you, Juliano': Calgary mother's final words at sentence hearing for son's killer

A Calgary mother whose son was stabbed to death at a high-school house party describes how "unbearable" it has been to relive his death during the trial for his killer, Trent Hynne.

Crown and defence have proposed a 10-year sentence for manslaughter and aggravated assault

Grade 11 student Juliano Crawford-Vieira died in 2014 after being stabbed outside a house party in Braeside. (Facebook)

A Calgary mother whose son was stabbed to death at a high-school house party describes how "unbearable" it has been to relive his death during the trial for his killer, Trent Hynne.

Hynne, 21, was in the middle of a second-degree murder trial this week when he pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter for the March 2014 stabbing death of Juliano Crawford-Vieira.

"To say that I miss him is an understatement," Louise Crawford wrote in a victim impact statement read aloud in court Friday. "I miss the hugs, that smile."

"I spent so much time and energy raising that boy."

A sentence of 10 years — eight years for manslaughter and two years for aggravated assault to be served consecutively — was proposed by prosecutors Meagan Blake and Mike Ewenson, and defence lawyer Gavin Wolch.

In accepting the joint sentencing submission, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Rosemary Nation told Hynne she hoped he would turn his life around.

"You have a debt to society to pay," said Nation. "You are young and you have a lot of life ahead of you; it's up to you to determine how you live those years."

"You expressed words of regret in this courtroom and your challenge now is to turn those words into action and show that you really mean them."

'The situation exploded'

In 2012, as the Braeside house party guests spilled out into the street, a verbal argument turned physical.

"The situation exploded," said Blake as she read from an agreed statement of facts. 

Those involved in the brawl were in "a fog of chaos and pepper spray," said Wolch.

Crawford-Vieira was beaten by a group, attacked with a baton and ultimately stabbed by Hynne as he was trying to flee in an act of "extreme violence," according to Ewenson.

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Trent Hynne pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault in the middle of his trial this week. (Facebook)

Drunk and high on cocaine

Hynne also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for stabbing Ortest Tako, who suffered significant injuries in the attack.

Court heard that Hynne had not slept in 24 hours, was very drunk and likely high on cocaine at the time of the killing.

After he left the scene of the attack, he cleaned blood off the knife, told friends to lie about where he had been that night and threatened witnesses.

Throughout the trial, evidence of Hynne's intoxication level led to the prosecution offering a plea to the lesser offence of manslaughter.

Nation accepted Hynne's guilty plea earlier this week. 

Hynne offers 'sincere apology'

Hynne was given the chance to address the court but because of a tonsil infection, Wolch read a statement his client had written.

He offered a "sincere apology" to his victim's family and friends.

"I wish I could change what happened," wrote Hynne. "I had no intention to turn a night out with friends into a tragic night that would ruin people's lives."

Hynne committed to changing his life.

"From the bottom of my heart , I wish you the best, the friends and family of Juliano."

'I love you Juliano'

Including the credit for the time he's already spent in custody, Hynne has about six years left on his sentence.

A second man, Roland Smith, was also charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder, but the prosecution indicated he will plead guilty to accessory after the fact to murder next month.

In June, two teens were found guilty of manslaughter in Crawford-Vieira's death. They cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

After having to sit in court day after day, listening to the evidence — that included video — of her son's final moments, Louise Crawford said she is "grateful" the court cases are coming to a conclusion. 

"To see people you love being attacked is unbearable."

"I love you, Juliano."