7-year sentence for Luka Gordic's killer 'a disgrace,' family says
Published Tuesday, December 5, 2017 10:32AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 8:11PM PST
The family of 19-year-old Luka Gordic stormed out of a Vancouver courthouse Tuesday after learning his killer will only spend a few years behind bars.
Arvin Golic, who was found guilty of manslaughter earlier this year, was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison. Minus credit for time in custody, that drops to just under six.
Outside court, Gordic's family said they were devastated by the length of time the young killer will serve. Some cried, while others were outraged.
"What the hell kind of system is this? It makes you sick," said Mitch Gordic, the victim's father.
When delivering her sentence, the judge cited Golic's age as a mitigating factor. He was 18 years old when he instigated the deadly attack on Gordic in Whistler back in 2015.
But the judge also told the court she had a hard time accepting that Golic was remorseful, despite the insistence of the defence.
Milos Gordic, the deceased's brother, was among those who stood up and left immediately after learning the outcome of the trial.
"We got to hear this absolute garbage in there," he said. "[My brother] was killed for absolutely nothing, and what the courts have told us is his life is worth five years. What a disgrace."
The Crown had asked that Golic, who was initially charged with second-degree murder, serve between nine and 11 years, while the defence argued for four to five.
Prosecutor Henry Reiner told reporters he understands the family's disappointment.
"The family are very disturbed and I don't blame them," Reiner said. "Not that I condone acting out in court, obviously, but just imagine your child being killed, particularly in this way."
During the trial, the court heard Gordic was swarmed by as many as 15 people in the resort community over the Victoria Day long weekend. The Burnaby resident was punched, kicked and stabbed in the heart during the assault, which lasted less than a minute.
Gordic was attacked after standing up for a young woman both he and Golic knew.
Police found that Golic organized the beating, but did not deliver the fatal blow. The judge ruled that while he intended to harm the victim, it was not clear he intended to kill him.
In October, three youths were also found guilty in the swarming death.
One of the young men was convicted of second-degree murder, while the other two were found guilty of manslaughter. They cannot be named because they were underage at the time of the attack.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber