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Mom of Burnaby teen slain in Whistler refuses lawyer's court apology

Sentencing hearing for three men in deadly Whistler May Long weekend swarming continues


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The family of slain Burnaby teen Luka Gordic didn't think much of a defence lawyer's unconventional expressions of sympathy in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Tuesday.

After arguing that one of the young men convicted of manslaughter in Gordic's 2015 swarming death in Whistler should be sentenced as a youth and not go to jail, defence lawyer Brij Mohan took a moment to turn to Gordic's family in the gallery.

"No parent should go through what Mr. Gordic's parents have gone through," he said. "I would like to offer sincere apologies on behalf of myself, (the accused) and on behalf of the community."

Donna Turko, the defence lawyer for another young man, echoed his sentiments.

Gordic's family members, however, could be seen shaking their heads, with one saying, "Stop it."

"No way," Gordic's mom told the NOW outside of the court. "I will never accept an apology. It's over three years too late."

Sentencing continued Tuesday for three people convicted of Gordic's death during the May long weekend in Whistler more than three years ago.

All three were youths at the time of the killing, so they cannot be named because of a publication ban.

Two were convicted of manslaughter in October.

The other was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Gordic's family and the Crown have previously called for all three to be sentenced as adults.

On Monday, Crown prosecutor Hank Reiner argued the two men convicted of manslaughter should get a jail sentence in the range of four to six years.

For second-degree murder, the third could face a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for seven years if he is sentenced as an adult.

On Tuesday, however, Mohan argued his client—one of the two convicted of manslaughter—should be sentenced as a youth and serve a two-year term under community supervision.

As mitigating factors, Mohan said his client, despite wielding a knife, had not been a leader during the attack, that he has no other criminal record, that he has successfully kept strict bail conditions for three years and that he had turned 17 just shortly before the Whistler trip.

Turko also called for a non-custodial youth sentence for her client, citing similar mitigating factors but stressing her client had not been a stabber in the attack.

Sentencing continues Wednesday.

Victim impact statements are expected to be presented Friday.