Monday, December 19, 2011

Jane Creba


Judge sentences final two men in Creba killing

 Five years after a brazen Boxing Day gunfight killed teenage bystander Jane Creba and “terrorized hundreds of people,” a judge has sentenced the last two men convicted in her death.

The proceedings bring some finality to a case that shocked the country, though legal wrangling is likely to continue in the months to come, with numerous appeals pending.

In handing a 12-year prison sentence to Tyshaun Barnett and Louis Woodcock on Thursday, Superior Court Justice Gladys Pardu referenced the “incalculable, profound and irreversible loss” suffered by the Creba family. “The danger to the public and the carnage contributed to by the behaviour of these accused requires a substantial sentence,” Judge Pardu stated in her 11-page decision.

Ms. Creba’s parents were away on a cottage vacation on Thursday; the victim’s 16-year-old brother, Elliot, picked up the phone at the family’s East York home, but declined to comment on the impact of the sentencings. With pretrial custody taken into account, Barnett and Woodcock have three years and seven months left to serve. The pair were also handed a lifetime firearms ban and a requirement to provide a DNA sample to the national databank.

Ms. Creba, 15, was fatally wounded on Boxing Day 2005 as she crossed Yonge Street just north of the Eaton Centre during a shopping trip with her sister. She was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between two rival groups outside a Foot Locker store. The shootout, Judge Pardu wrote, “must have terrorized hundreds of people going about their business.” It shocked residents across the country and reignited debate about gun violence in Toronto.

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Barnett and Woodcock were convicted by a jury this spring of manslaughter in Ms. Creba’s death, along with four counts of aggravated assault in relation to others wounded in the shootout. Neither fired the bullet that killed Ms. Creba, Judge Pardu noted, but “both Woodcock and Barnett were carrying loaded guns. The exchange of gunfire was rapid and nearly simultaneous.” One shot was fired from Barnett’s gun and seven from Woodcock’s, the court heard.

Jeremiah Valentine, who pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder and received a life sentence, fired the bullet that “almost certainly” killed Ms. Creba, the court heard. Jorrell Simpson-Rowe was also convicted of second-degree murder in the incident by a jury. Both Barnett and Woodcock have expressed remorse for the consequences of the gun battle, Judge Pardu noted in her sentencing decision. But she also cited a presentencing report indicating Barnett was “entrenched in a criminal lifestyle,” and referenced evidence of Woodcock’s bad behaviour in jail; in a wiretapped conversation, he brags to Barnett about beating a man into a coma.

The Crown had called for a 15-year jail term for Barnett and Woodcock. Barnett’s lawyer, Christopher Hicks, had recommended between eight and 10 years, while Woodcock’s attorney, Anthony Robbins, had asked for six to eight.

Mr. Hicks on Thursday deemed the ultimate sentence “a little too high,” considering his client did not directly cause Ms. Creba’s death. “[Barnett’s] continued stance is he didn’t have anything to do with the death of Jane Creba,” Mr. Hicks said. “I think the general reaction is he’s glad it’s at least over. It’s been a terrible burden for him for the last four years, and for his family as well.”

Mr. Robbins said Woodcock was “pleased with the result,” and particularly with his exoneration in respect to the higher murder charge, which would have mandated a life sentence.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting.

If you have any names of victims that belong here, please email me at