Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Adult-sentence bid put on hold

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Manitoba justice officials will have to wait a bit longer before seeking an adult sentence for a 16-year-old boy who admits to killing a pizza-outlet employee with an axe during an armed robbery.

The teen -- who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act -- pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder. He returned to court Friday for what was supposed to be his sentencing hearing, but the case was delayed because defence lawyers only received a crucial court-ordered report just hours earlier. They have requested further time to review the materials.

Lawyers will return to court next week.

As a youth, he would face a maximum penalty of four years behind bars. If raised to adult court, he would receive a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for at least seven years.

The brutality of the deadly May 2011 attack inside a Pizza Hotline outlet left even veteran police and justice officials shaking their heads in disgust. Sources told the Free Press the 54-year-old victim, Gerald Crayford, put up no resistance during the incident at 1100 Concordia Ave.

Police also arrested an adult co-accused who remains before the courts and is presumed innocent. Byron Bushie, 19, is also charged with second-degree murder.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 19, 2013 0

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