Nova Scotia

Young man who murdered girlfriend apologizes

A young convicted murderer issued a last-minute apology Wednesday before a judge decides whether he should be sentenced as an adult.

Crown wants Cape Breton man sentenced as adult

A young convicted murderer issued a last-minute apology Wednesday before a judge decides whether he should be sentenced as an adult.

The 18-year-old man killed his girlfriend in Whitney Pier in December 2010. He cannot be named because he was 16 years old when he stabbed her more than 100 times.

The Crown wants the man, who was convicted of second-degree murder, to be treated as an adult and given a life sentence.

As his sentencing hearing wrapped up Wednesday, the man asked to speak to the court. With his back to the victim's family, he addressed Judge Anne Derrick.

"I apologize to her family and friends for what happened. If I could go back to December 3rd, I would take back everything I've done," he said.

The girl's grandmother wasn't impressed.

"What apology?" she said later outside the courtroom. She said the man never looked at the family even when he returned to his seat.

Earlier, Crown attorney Steve Drake said the man has anti-social behaviour and severe conduct disorder. He described him as being a serial criminal offender since he was 12 years old.

Drake cited assessments by psychologists and doctors who said the man's rehabilitation would be a long and arduous process, and it's questionable whether that could happen under a youth sentence.

Drake described the murder as horrific, one of the worst the community has seen, and one with little motive.

He said only an adult sentence will hold the young man accountable.

While an adult sentence means life in prison, sentencing as a youth means a maximum sentence of seven years — four in custody and three under community supervision.

Defence lawyer Darlene MacRury argued her client should be sentenced as a youth because he will re-enter society some day, and such a sentence would ensure that youth can be reintegrated.

She said he has made gains, especially in education.

The Crown pointed out that even if the young man was sentenced to the Nova Scotia Youth Facility in Waterville, he would be transferred to a federal prison when he turns 20.

The sentencing hearing has been underway for two weeks. The judge is expected to hand down her decision on Jan. 14.

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