Hamilton

Peter Khill banned from Six Nations territory for life

If Khill, a Hamiton man who was found not-guilty of second-degree murder after he admitted he shot and killed Jon Styres, a First Nation's man, is spotted anywhere on the 18,000-hectares of land Six Nations holds, he will be escorted off by police.

Calls continue for Crown to appeal not-guilty verdict for the man who killed Jon Styres

Peter Khill, was found not guilty of second-degree murder for shooting and killing Jon Styres in Feb. 2016. Now the Six Nations of the Grand River have banned him from their territory for life. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

The council for the Six Nations of the Grand River has voted to bar Peter Khill from its territory for life.

If Khill, a Hamilton man who was found not-guilty of second-degree murder after he shot and killed Jon Styres, a First Nation's man, is spotted anywhere on the 18,000-hectares of land Six Nations holds he will be escorted off by police, explained elected-Chief Ava Hill.

"There was a motion that was made by council and it's pretty plain and simple and straightforward — he's not allowed in our community," she said, adding council voted unanimously in support of the ban.

Council made its decision Tuesday after a motion brought forward by a group of women who have been leading a grassroots movement calling for Khill's not-guilty verdict to be appealed. 

There was a motion that was made by council and it's pretty plain and simple and straightforward — he's not allowed in our community.- Chief Ava Hill

"I think all of us can sleep a little bit more soundly because this man cannot come onto our territory. We are that much safer without him being in our community," said Cheyenne Williams, one of the women who proposed the ban, in a video posted to the Facebook Page Justice for Jonathan Styres shortly after council voted to support it.

Six Nations elected chief Ava Hill says if Khill is spotted on Six Nations territory he will be escorted off by police. (Jeff Green/CBC)

Khill admitted he fired the two shotgun blasts that killed Styres, who was allegedly trying to steal his truck on the night of Feb. 4, 2016, but said he was following his military training and fired in self-defence.

Prosecutors argued he could have stayed in his house and called 911, but a jury acquitted Khill on June 27.

Attempts to contact Khill through his defence lawyer Jeff Manishen for comment on the lifetime ban were not immediately returned.

Nahnda Garlow, another member of the group of women who are calling for the verdict to be appealed, said the ban is part of an ongoing effort that included a rally outside Queen's Park on Canada Day that's aimed at ensuring people in her community are safe and receive justice when they're victimized.

"It's empowering to do things in response to the situation," she explained. "We want to take control of their own lives again."

She said Khill was at his home near Binbrook, Ont. when he killed Styres, not on Six Nations land, but said the ban makes sense because it's meant to keep him from causing "collateral damage to the psychology of band members."

A group of women have been leading a grassroots effort to appeal Khill's not-guilty verdict. (Nahnda Garlow/Facebook)

Garlow added although it's unlikely Khill would want to visit Six Nations it's her understanding the 28-year-old grew up near the reserve and has "loose ties" to the area so the ban is to ensure he stays away.

"From my perspective it's about making sure that someone who has taken the life of a person from our community is not allowed to come back and re-victimize anyone in any form."

It's about making sure that someone who has taken the life of a person from our community is not allowed to come back and re-victimize anyone in any form.-  Nahnda   Garlow

Calls for appeal continue

Members of Six Nations, including Styres's direct family and chiefs across Ontario are continuing to call on the province's Attorney General Caroline Mulroney to appeal the verdict. 

In a phone conversation Monday, Hill said Mulroney told her she couldn't comment about the possibility of an appeal because it's still within the appeal period, which ends July 27.

Still, the chief said she respected the attorney general's response and said the two are planning to meet after the appeal period to talk about issues Indigenous communities see with the justice system.

"She seemed willing to be sitting down and she said the relationship between Indigenous people and the criminal justice system is going to be important for her," said Hill, adding she's optimistic for the future. 

"You've got to be positive, you've got to have hope."