Not guilty verdict in Creba killing

A man known only as G.C. has become the latest suspect acquitted of killing Toronto schoolgirl Jane Creba during a shootout on Yonge Street more than four years ago.

A man known only as G.C. has become the latest suspect acquitted of killing Toronto schoolgirl Jane Creba during a shootout on Yonge Street more than four years ago.

The Toronto teen was slain on Boxing Day 2005 when she was caught in the crossfire from two rival groups on one of busiest shopping days of the year, on one of the country's busiest streets.

On Tuesday, G.C. was found not guilty of manslaughter. 

G.C. was 15 at the time of the shooting.  He was not alleged to have fired a weapon but was charged for being part of the group.

His identity is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

"A person cannot be guilty of manslaughter merely because he was present when his companions committed murder. He must have some actual connection to the wrongdoing," Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy said in handing down her decision.

"The inference alleged by the Crown simply cannot be logically drawn. Accordingly, I find G.C. not guilty of manslaughter."

Late last year two men — Jeremiah Valentine, 27, and Jorell Simpson-Rowe, 21 — were convicted of killing the 15-year-old Grade 9 student. 

Valentine was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 12 years.

Simpson-Rowe, who was 17 at the time of Creba's death, received an adult life sentence with no eligibility of parole for seven years.

Four men were acquitted of all charges earlier in 2009, after the Crown said there was no reasonable prospect for a conviction against them. All four were facing manslaughter charges.

Two other men still face second-degree murder charges.

Outside court Tuesday, defence lawyer Peter Copeland said the case against G.C. "had a very serious impact on him."

"He's been under strict house arrest for the last 3½ years, from the age of 17 to 21," Copeland said.

"In terms of a lawsuit, there's obviously nothing at this time. I can't comment on whether that may change at some point."

With files from The Canadian Press