3 youths guilty in Southlands attack but not of aggravated assault
Victim's mother disappointed by ruling, but says son has had full recovery
Three of four boys charged after a brutal stabbing in the Southlands area of St. John's in 2016 have been found guilty of common assault but not guilty of aggravated assault.
The judgement, handed down in provincial court Thursday, is not what the victim's mother was hoping for.
"The fact that they actually found them guility of being there, and attacking my son, but not guilty of causing bodily harm ... My son was stabbed seven times and almost died," said Michelle Bailey.
Video shot on a phone in March 2016 captured part of the attack on 21-year-old Zachary Squires in his family home on Mahogany Place.
What do I figure they are going to get? Probably probation.- Michelle Bailey
A party there had gotten out of hand, and when Squires tried to break it up, he was stabbed.
The chief medical examiner testified that he would have bled to death if he had not received immediate medical attention.
In his decision Thursday, Judge James Walsh found the fourth youth not guilty of all charges, saying Squires was unable to identify the boy as one of his attackers.
Bailey said she was disappointed by that, and does not expect much from the sentencing of the others.
"I don't think I could put into words what I hope they get. What do I figure they are going to get? Probably probation."
Another man who took part in the attack, Robert Mills, 24, was sentenced in July to three years in prison, and three years probation.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and assault with a weapon — brass knuckles — but there was nothing to connect Mills to the knife used in the attack.
Bailey said her son has made quite a comeback.
"He's doing really well now. He's had a full recovery, thank goodness. Lots of scars, but he's fine."
But she said it has been an ordeal for the whole family.
"Very trying, very tiring, very emotionally draining. It's been a year-and-a-half or more now. And we are just happy to have it over."
Judge Walsh will sentence the three youths on Dec. 1.
Asked if she will be there, Bailey said, "I suspect I will, yes."