Toronto

Johnathan's mother tries to forgive killer son

The mother of a Toronto boy stabbed 71 times by his older brother told a sentencing hearing that she will work on forgiving her oldest son for the murder because he's all she has left.

The mother of a Toronto boy stabbed 71 times by his older brother told a sentencing hearing that she will work on forgiving herson for the murder because he's all she has left.

"I know I will never forget what has happened, but I will work on forgiving him and I hope he will work on forgiving me for…not being there that fatal day as maybe he would have talked to me," she told the court Thursday.

Her older son, now 19 years old, was convicted in February of first-degree murder for the Nov. 25, 2003 killing of his 12-year-old brother, who can only be identified as "Johnathan."An 18-year-old friend was found guilty of manslaughter, while a third person was acquitted.

No one can be identified becausethose convicted were under 18 when they were charged.

In an emotional day in court, Superior Court Judge David McCombs heard tearful victim impact statements from the boy's mother and stepfather.

Pausing when overcome by sobs, Johnathan's mother tried to express the depth of the pain caused by losing both sons — one to a vicious attack, the other to jail.

'I miss my sons'

"I just feel lost," she told the judge. "I miss my sons. I miss being a mother."

The mother also talked of the love between the two brothers, how Johnathan looked up to his older brother, followed him around and thought of him as his best friend.

"When we would go out trick-or-treating on Halloween,[the older brother] would always take Johnathan by the hand and lead him up the stairs of the houses to get their candy," she said.

She said a noticeable change came over the older boy when their "Nana" died, with whom he was close.

He began withdrawing from the family, a fact the mother blamed on the struggles of being a teenager. She said she wished she could have helped him get through those hard times.

"I couldn't fix the pain growing up causes," she said. "I wish I had been able to stop the pain."

Tears in prisoner's box

When the mother finished reading her statement, her older son cried quietly in the prisoner's box, holding his head in his hands.

The conviction of theteenager in February came from a second trial.

The first one ended in mistrial because it was discovered that a key witness had given testimony that contradicted postings she made on a website.

The sentencing hearing began last Monday. It is scheduled towrap up on Friday.

McCombs will have to decide whether to sentence the two teens as adults or as youths.

Johnathan's mother hopes he will sentenceher older son as an adult to allow for the publication of the dead boy's full name.