Constable James Forcillo arrives at a Toronto courthouse on July 28, 2016 to be sentenced for the attempted murder of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

Toronto cop convicted in death of teen seeks to appeal case to Supreme Court

Const. James Forcillo fired two separate volleys at 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, who was standing alone and holding a small knife.

A Toronto police officer convicted of attempted murder in the shooting death of a troubled teen on an empty streetcar is seeking leave to bring his case before Canada’s top court.

Const. James Forcillo fired two separate volleys at 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, who was standing alone and holding a small knife, in an incident that ignited public outrage after a bystander’s video came to light.

In 2016, a jury acquitted Forcillo of the more serious charge of second-degree murder related to the first volley of shots — which killed the teen — but found him guilty of attempted murder related to the second hail of bullets, fired seconds later while Yatim was lying on his back.

Lawyers for Forcillo challenged the ruling but Ontario’s top court dismissed the appeal in April.

In upholding Forcillo’s conviction and sentence, Ontario’s Court of Appeal found Forcillo’s second round of shots was “clearly unnecessary and excessive.”

His legal team is now seeking to challenge the appeal court decision, arguing that the first and second volleys were “artificially” divided into two separate events, leading to the separate charges.

Michael Lacy, Joseph Wilkinson and Bryan Badali are asking the Supreme Court to decide whether prosecutors were required to prove that the first and second rounds of shots were two different “transactions.”

They are also contesting Forcillo’s initial six-year sentence, which was a year longer than the mandatory minimum.

Related: 2017: Appeal set for Const. James Forcillo, convicted in Sammy Yatim shooting

In their application to the court, the lawyers write that mandatory minimum sentences are intended to deter people from committing crimes.

But the lawyers argue that when someone carrying a firearm legally uses it in good faith — as they suggest Forcillo did — that person is not deterred because they believe they’re obeying the law and therefore would not go to prison.

The Crown has 30 days to respond to the application.

The court has said it takes an average of three months to decide on leave applications after they are filed.

Forcillo recently had six months added to his sentence after pleading guilty to perjury. He had also been charged with breaching the conditions of his bail while awaiting the Ontario Court of Appeal decision, along with obstruction of justice, but those charges were dropped after he entered the guilty plea.

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Morris Bates takes a chance on life

Morris Bates is by far the Cariboo’s most famous entertainer.

Westridge rezoning amendment faces debate at tonight’s council meeting

A contentious application to rezone for secondary suites in Westridge will be discussed during tonight’s council meeting

Neufeld vying for CRD Area E director

Melynda Neufeld is hoping to get her seat back as a director for the Cariboo Regional District.

Emergency crews attend multi-car collision on Highway 97 Tuesday

Three vehicles involved in incident that temporarily impacts traffic

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, say Chief Joe Alphonse

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

Most Read