Young man guilty of manslaughter in Luka Gordic's killing
Published Tuesday, June 6, 2017 11:36AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:07PM PDT
A young man accused of second-degree murder in the killing of 19-year-old Luka Gordic has been found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Arvin Golic's verdict was handed down Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court, where some of the victim's family briefly applauded before realizing he had been acquitted of the more serious charge. Some family members then seemed agitated, and there was yelling in the courthouse as Golic's family walked out.
"Arvin shouldn't ever see the light of day. He's a terrible person, just terrible," the victim's mother, Clara Gordic, told reporters outside.
"This is a loss we can never recover from. We want the consequences to be severe," said Gianni Buono, the deceased's uncle.
The court heard Gordic was attacked in the resort community of Whistler over the 2015 Victoria Day long weekend by as many as 15 people.
The brutal assault lasted less than a minute, during which the Burnaby resident was punched, kicked, and stabbed in the heart with a knife.
Golic, who was 18 at the time of the attack, didn't deliver the fatal blow but did organize the beating after the victim stood up for a young woman they both knew.
In her ruling, Justice Mary Humphries said while Golic had a motive to harm Gordic, it's not clear he intended to end his life.
"I'm unable to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Golic intended to kill Mr. Gordic," Humphries told the court.
There were heated moments during trial prior to Tuesday's hearing, including an incident where sheriffs had to lead Golic away following an argument with Gordic's family in Serbian.
Golic is scheduled to return to court to set a sentencing hearing date later this month.
Three youths, who can’t be named because of their ages, have also been charged in the attack. They are still awaiting a verdict.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Scott Roberts