Teen sentenced as adult in Michael Oatway murder
A judge laid down an adult sentence for a young offender convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Michael Oatway, 23, who was killed while riding an OC Transpo bus two years ago.
Shawn McKenzie, who is now 19, was sentenced to 10 years in prison without parole on Thursday. The judge chose to give him an adult sentence, even though he was 17 at the time of the murder and was tried as a youth.
"One young person lost his life and another young person has just been sentenced with his life, so really, there's no winners in this matter," said Sgt. Tim Hodgins, one of the homicide investigators who worked on the case.
Oatway was killed after getting into a scuffle with a group of teens on Sept. 21, 2006. During the trial, the jury heard Oatway was fatally stabbed because he refused to hand over his girlfriend's iPod.
While laying down the sentence, Justice Robert Maranger said it was "troublesome that throughout the proceeding (McKenzie) did not show any sign of remorse or regret for his actions, he did not even display remorse or regret when the victim impact statements were read in open court at the sentencing hearing."
That's something Oatway's sister also noticed.
"Throughout the whole preliminary hearing and the trial, there was no show of remorse, concern, regret -- and that has been the hardest part to sit throughout. To watch him sit there, very smugly, almost without a care in the world," said Grace Routh, who was among about 50 friends and family members who shed tears and shared hugs following the judge's statements.
"I miss him very much and I love him," she said.
Maranger also told the court McKenzie "struts around like a peacock" at the William Hay Detention Centre, where he's been in detention. He said there is also evidence to suggest McKenzie is an "alpha male" who likes to be in control of groups.
But McKenzie's mother disagrees with the judge's assessment of her son. She says some people simply show remorse in different ways.
"Everybody deserves a second chance in their life and he didn't get one," said Dionne Pearson.
"There is worse a killer out there than my son. My son is not a killer -- it's just a random incident. He's not a killer."
Still, Pearson says she feels for the victim's family and wishes she could go back in time to change what happened that night.
"I just feel so bad that the other family has lost the life of their son. That was wrong, but I wish I could have turned the hands of time. I wish I could've given up my life so this kid could live," she said.
The jury took less than one hour to deliver their guilty verdict in November. McKenzie will now be on probation for the rest of his life.
A hearing will determine where he will be held in custody.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Natalie Pierosara