Devontay Hackett guilty of second-degree murder in prom night killing
Published Friday, February 17, 2017 11:27AM EST Last Updated Friday, February 17, 2017 4:34PM EST
An Ottawa jury convicted 21-year-old Devontay Hackett today of second degree murder.
He's now facing life in prison for the prom day stabbing death of 18 year old Brandon Volpi.
It took the jury just two days to decide Hackett was guilty of killing Volpi outside Les Suites hotel in June of 2014. Much of the Crown's case was focussed on cell phone video of the killing.
For Volpi’s father Danny, it was a piece of the closure the family was looking for.
“We got what we were looking for, second degree murder,” he told reporters outside court, “It doesn't bring my son back. I still lost a part of me and that's never going to change, that pain is there forever.”
Hackett's mother had nothing to say as she fled the court house after the verdict; neither did Hackett's brothers who left shortly after the jury delivered its verdict: guilty of second degree murder.
Hackett seemed shocked by the verdict, and shaken. His family members and friends started crying. At one point, his lawyer, Joseph Addelman leaned into the prison box, shook Hackett's hand and said, “I'm sorry.”
Much of the Crown's case focussed on cellphone video of the fight outside Les Suites hotel the night Volpi was stabbed in the chest and throat. It was the 18-year-old's prom night. Devontay Hackett had always maintained his innocence and had pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Crown presented evidence during the trial that Hackett had fled to Toronto after the murder, even had Volpi's blood on his watch a month later. The defence maintained the Crown's case was speculation and that no murder weapon was ever found. The conviction carries a life sentence for the 21-year-old, though the Judge may decide he's eligible for parole after 10 years.
“Am I happy?” Brandon Volpi said, “Not really. My son doesn't come back but this guy will serve time. That’s the law.”
Hackett will be sentenced March 30th. Court will also hear victim impact statements at that point. The defence lawyer, Joseph Addelman, has not indicated whether he will appeal.