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Second man admits guilt in fatal downtown stabbing

'This is a wholly senseless crime. This was not his fight… he was along for the ride,' Crown tells court; Ryan Babineau killed in November 2019
Cory Greavette 2019-11-27
Cory Greavette is shown in an undated Facebook photo.

A second man has admitted responsibility in connection to the fatal stabbing of a Barrie man in his downtown apartment in 2019, telling the court he regrets his involvement.

Ryan Babineau, 30, was attacked in his Dunlop Street East apartment on Nov. 16, 2019, and was later pronounced dead.

On Thursday, Cory Greavette, 30, was escorted into a Barrie courtroom where he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Two other men have been implicated in the killing.

Greavette, along with Tyler Wren and Abad Abdi Shire, were originally charged with first-degree murder in the 2019 stabbing.

The Crown and defence lawyers jointly suggested a nine-year sentence, minus credit for the 918 days Greavette has spent in jail so far, enhanced to 1,377 days.

“This is a wholly senseless crime,” Crown attorney Michael Flosman told the court Thursday. “This was not his fight… he was along for the ride.”

Court heard Babineau had been doing drugs with others early that Saturday when Greavette and two others showed up in a stolen Mazda. Babineau had an addiction to fentanyl, Flosman said.

While Greavette agreed to the statement of facts read into the court record on Thursday, his lawyer Robb MacDonald told the court he doesn’t recognize the identity of the two co-accused men.

Flosman said Greavette joined in the attack of Babineau toward the end, stabbing at the victim’s leg.

A pathologist later determined Babineau suffered 65 stab wounds. 

After the attack, Greavette and the two other men then drove to a Grove Street home where they changed out of their clothes and then continued on to a Huntsville motel.

Greavette was arrested at a Barrie residence five days after the stabbing. 

Shire had been incarcerated in northern Ontario on an unrelated matter and was arrested the following week. 

Wren was taken into custody by South Simcoe police officers nearly two weeks after the stabbing when he was accused of evading a RIDE check near Yonge Street and Innisfil Beach Road.

Victim impact statements from Babineau’s sister, mother and stepdad were presented to the court. They said with Babineau’s death and memories of him all over Barrie, the entire family, including his six-year-old daughter, decided to move to another community.

“He had a sweet tooth and a sweet soul,” Flosman read from Babineau’s stepfather’s statement. “We didn’t hold his addiction against him.”

MacDonald, meanwhile, said there’s no denying the tragedy of Babineau’s death, calling it entirely senseless.

Greavette’s record, he added, is “abysmal.”

“My client is a poster child for neglect and for drug addiction and for being the product of an utterly broken support system,” he said. “To say he has lived a tough life is a massive understatement.”

Addressing the court, Greavette said he regrets what happened and he can’t bring Babineau back.

“It’s something I’m going to have to live with the rest of my life,” he said, adding that his life has been one of drugs and crime. “Hopefully I can move on with my life after this.”

Greavette returns to court for sentencing Aug. 11.

Earlier this month, Wren, now 28, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder. He returns to court June 2 for sentencing.

Shire is scheduled to return to court June 28 and has a four-week trial scheduled to start Jan. 6, 2023.