1 of 3 killers in Whistler swarming attack handed adult sentence
Published Friday, January 11, 2019 9:04AM PST
Last Updated Friday, January 11, 2019 3:07PM PST
A court has handed down sentencing for the three young men convicted in the vicious swarming attack that killed 19-year-old Luka Gordic.
The two suspects who were found guilty of manslaughter have been given three years, with 18 months in custody, as youths.
The third suspect who was found guilty of second-degree murder has been handed a life sentence as an adult. He will be eligible for parole in seven years.
"When we think life in prison, it's for life. But really, it's not," said Mitch Gordic, Luka's father after the sentencing hearing.
Members of Gordic's family wept in court as the judge delivered his decision.
"We're scarred for life, we struggle every day" said Clara Gordic, Luka's mother. "I try to keep myself busy because I think about Luka every day. I think about what they did to him."
Prosecutors say they believe the sentences are reasonable but that it's likely the judge's decision will be appealed.
"A case like this, when a young man is killed for no particular reason—even though you've been around a long time as a Crown (counsel) and I've dealt with a lot of horrible cases, this is right up there with about as bad as it gets," said Henry Reiner, a Crown counsel, after the sentencing.
The victim's family had been holding out hope the men, who were 17 at the time of the May 2015 attack, will be sentenced as adults. That would result in longer jail terms and allow the public to learn their identities, which are currently protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Gordic was out with friends at Whistler on the Victoria Day weekend when members of the so-called Montebello Group tracked him down and swarmed him.
The mob punched Gordic and kicked him, but the court heard it was a knife to his heart that ended his life.
Another man, Arvin Golic, was previously sentenced to seven years in prison and has been described as the architect of the attack.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Sheila Scott
Luka Gordic’s father Mitch speaks about the life sentence handed to one his son’s killers. The family says it’s a struggle every day. “I think about what they did to him”. pic.twitter.com/HltwXEb1E2— Sheila Scott (@Sheila_Scott) January 11, 2019