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Boy accused in south-end murder appears in court

Boy's lawyer says he is waiting on disclosure from the Crown attorney before determining next steps

The 14-year-old boy charged with Barrie’s first homicide of the year made an appearance in bail court this morning.

Looking tired and dishevelled, the 14-year-old accused in the first-degree murder of a 15-year-old male on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at a home on Penvill Trail in the city's south end stood in the courtroom’s prisoner box. He was given his next court date, which will be Friday, March 8 for a video remand.

The suspect cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).

His lawyer, Sheldon Wisener, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse and said his client is taking the situation hard, as is everyone involved.

“My client is devastated by this and I think this is an enormous tragedy for everybody,” said Wisener. “My first thoughts when I received the phone call was, 'My goodness, it’s a 14-year-old kid.' And this is horrifying, it really is.

"It’s a tragedy for both families," he added. 

Wisener said it's still too early to say how he will proceed as far as seeking bail for his client. The lawyer said he's still awaiting key files needed to begin that process.

“As far as today’s process went, we are awaiting disclosure and, much to my surprise, the Crown attorney didn’t even have the synopsis for us. There was no material available,” Wisener said. “The matter has been postponed for a couple of weeks and, hopefully in the meantime, they will provide us with material and we can start working this case.”

There did not appear to be any family members or friends of the accused at the courthouse. BarrieToday asked Wisener about his client's living arrangements at the time of the incident.

“A lot of my information about this case I learned from the media, which is pretty shocking in and of itself,” Wisener said. “He is a young person, so I can’t really discuss much about his circumstances.”

Wisener said the boy has family, but wouldn’t divulge much information.

“They’re not from here, but they’re around,” he said. “I’ve been in touch with a number of members of his family.”

Barrie police responded to a single detached home on Penvill Trail, near County Road 27 and Ardagh Road, on Tuesday shortly before 6 a.m. They found a 15-year-old male suffering from life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

The suspect was arrested a short time later on nearby McIntyre Drive. 

Police have said the victim and the accused are not related, but were living in the same house. 

Neighbours told BarrieToday that the home appeared to have little adult supervision and there were never any vehicles. 

No other details have been released about the status of the home and who was living there. Neighbours believe it may have been a group or foster home. 

Police remained at the scene today, as forensic identification officers continued to collect evidence.