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Murder victim's spouse still struggles with stabbing at 'drug house'

'Right to his last breath, he didn’t fight back,' says Ryan Babineau's partner; Three men found guilty in homicide at Dunlop Street apartment

It’s been more than three years since Ryan Babineau was stabbed to death in downtown Barrie in what a sentencing judge described as “extraordinary violence, cruelty and inhumanity.”

But only now that the case of the three co-accused is over does Babineau’s spouse feel she has the space to grieve with their young daughter.

Abad Shire has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole for a minimum of 17 years, after being found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury in Babineau’s killing.

Tyler Wren, 28, earlier pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder and was sentenced to five years in prison last June. He was given credit for the time he served in jail waiting for his day in court, leaving him with 14 months and 22 days.

Cory Greavette, 30, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was handed a nine-year sentence in August 2022. Minus the time he spent in custody, he was left to serve four years, 10 months and 24 days.

But even with all three men off to prison, Ines Cavaliere says she struggles with the loss for both herself and Babineau’s daughter, who was four when her dad was killed.

“He was a really good person, kind-hearted … and was not a confrontational person,” she recalled in an interview with BarrieToday. “Right to his last breath, he didn’t fight back.

“Ryan was more than just an addict,” she added.

Shire killed Babineau in what Superior Court Justice Cary Boswell described as “a frenzied attack” and “an example of gross overkill.”

The judge found Shire repeatedly stabbed Babineau. Greavette joined in while Wren waited at the door. Babineau suffered nearly 70 stab wounds and was left to die at a Dunlop Street apartment on Nov. 16, 2019.

“Mr. Babineau was entirely defenceless against the attack,” wrote Boswell. “Apart from being unarmed and unprepared for the violence inflicted upon him, he was also significantly impaired by drug consumption.

“Mr. Babineau pleaded for his life as he squirmed on the floor in an effort to avoid further blows,” the judge added. “At the same time, others present at the scene, including Mr. Wren, implored Mr. Shire to halt his attack. Yet he continued, despite the vulnerable and helpless position Mr. Babineau was in.”

Earlier that November morning, Shire, Wren and Greavette took off in an associate’s rental car with Shire in a state of heightened agitation, mumbling about “respect” and how “nobody touches family.”

They went to the Dunlop Street apartment described by the judge as “a drug house,” where a number of people had spent the night doing drugs, including opioids.

Among the people there was Babineau.

In reviewing the facts, the judge said when the trio entered the apartment, Shire found Babineau standing in the living room and Shire soon launched his attack.

“I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Shire inflicted far more of the blows to Mr. Babineau than did Mr. Greavette,” the judge said in his sentencing.

The trio left the apartment with Babineau dead or dying. On the way out, Shire threatened to kill family members of anyone who said anything about the attack. They then went to another man’s house, where Shire changed his bloody clothes before the three headed to Huntsville in the rented vehicle.

Shire, 28, a father of a young son, was living with his brother in a home on Kozlov Street in Barrie, making his living selling cocaine and crack cocaine. His lengthy record included 36 convictions for a variety of offences, including robbery, drug trafficking and assault causing bodily harm.

Shire denies involvement in the killing.

“I am alive to the fact that Mr. Shire grew up in communities marked by poverty in both Toronto and Ottawa. And I am alive to the fact that his experience growing up in poverty, essentially a Black immigrant at the time he commenced high school, undoubtedly contributed to the path that his life ultimately took,” the judge said.

But Boswell pointed out Shire’s siblings did not follow the same path. He found Shire’s experiences, such as racism, have no effect on the gravity of the killing.

Cavaliere and Babineau were living in the Dunlop Street apartment temporarily because the house they had been living in was sold by the landlord. But the couple had argued the night before and Cavaliere left.

“Ryan called me at about 5 a.m. and said something was wrong and he wanted me to come home,” she recalled. “As I was on my way home, I missed his last call because my phone was on vibrate. When he called me, on the voicemail he said he was in the washroom, locked in the washroom, because somebody was there trying to hurt him.”

She said they had hoped to move to their own place the next week and separate themselves from the scene and the people who frequented that apartment.

Cavaliere did move away from the area after the killing, as did all of Babineau’s family members to separate themselves from what happened to the young father.