Teenagers found guilty in death of Surrey, B.C., man stabbed 42 times in 26 seconds
Warning: Disturbing content
VANCOUVER -- Two teens have been found guilty of second-degree murder in the brutal and violent killing of a Surrey, B.C., man.
Delphin Paul Prestbakmo’s grieving family is now hoping the two will be sentenced as adults, an avenue which the Crown does intend to pursue in the case.
Cheers and embraces followed the guilty verdicts outside provincial court in Surrey on Tuesday. Prestbakmo’s brother, Stephen, said the victim was a “unique person” and always loved to help others, often working late at his job as a mechanic in order to do so.
“My brother was a good person,” he said. “That wasn’t how he should have died.”
In August 2019, 45 year-old Prestbakmo was found fatally stabbed in a parking lot near the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre.
Investigators believed Prestbakmo had gone outside for a smoke and to take out the garbage, and that the attack was unprovoked.
“It’s gruesome,” Prestbakmo’s brother said. “It was disgusting. It was without reason.”
A 15- and 16-year-old were arrested the next month, and charged with second-degree murder. Due to their ages, their names are under a publication ban and cannot be released.
Provincial Court Judge Robert Hamilton told the court Prestbakmo was stabbed 42 times in 26 seconds.
In his verdict, he found the teens “had the necessary specific intent to kill Mr. Prestbakmo”.
“The sheer number of stab wounds inflicted on Mr. Prestbakmo...shows a lethal intent to kill,” Hamilton said. “By arming themselves with knives prior to leaving on their second walk that night (they) showed a certain level of premeditation.”
The judge added witnesses testified the two teens were angry or upset that night.
Prestbakmo’s brother said he stood up and left the courtroom when details of the attack were shared.
“It was hard on me,” he said.
The teens were also acquitted of an aggravated assault charge related to an attack on another person that night, as the judge found there was insufficient evidence to show they acted together.
Prestbakmo’s brother said the victim had a nickname for everyone, and would have been a great father.
“He cared about a lot of people, and animals and children,” he said, and added as an older brother, Prestbakmo taught him a lot and took care of him. “We’ll always hold him in my heart, dear, because he’s my brother and we love him.”
The case is scheduled to return to court early next month.