A 17-year-old charged in the death of Simon Grant entered a guilty plea to manslaughter Monday.
The teen, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was facing a charge of second-degree murder, but he instead pleaded guilty to the lesser offence. He also pleaded guilty to committing a robbery and wearing a mask to commit an indictable offence.
Last April, Grant was assaulted during an armed robbery at his Lousiana's Bar-B-Que restaurant and died two days later in hospital.
"The manslaughter charge is a bit of a strategy the Crown is using, and my family and myself are OK with it," said Grant's widow Cora Laich. "The charge doesn't mean as much as the sentencing. That's what's important is what sentence this young man will get."
During the proceedings, Crown prosecutor Ruth Fafard told Judge Rob MacKenzie they wished to move forward with sentencing as an adult. She also requested a psychiatric, psychological and pre-sentence report be completed before the next court date, which was set for March 8.
"I feel good about it," Laich said about the young offender being sentenced as an adult. "We had lots of conversations with the Crown about it and my family has really pushed for this adult sentence. I really do believe we have a great chance of this going through, just because of all the facts, thinking and mentality of the youth in this situation."
With this particular offender going through the court system, Laich said life has been psychologically and mentally trying for her. She's been finding herself recollecting the events that happened to Simon on the night he was murdered.
Laich also noted when Austin Bird, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was handed a seven-year prison sentence in October, had the chance to plea, he apologized to her in court. She said the same thing happened when the 14-year-old, who is still awaiting sentencing, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in December.
"It just speaks volumes to the type of individual we're dealing with," Laich said about the lack of apology today. "It was huge for my daughter and I to have those apologies and for them to look at us."
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