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Teen Found Guilty in Beating Death of Brother


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Brother guilty in Johnathan slaying
Feb. 27, 2006. 02:09 PM

The 19-year-old big brother of a slain Toronto boy known only as Johnathan has been found guilty of first-degree murder and another charge of attempted murder for trying to kill his stepfather.
Of his co-accused — two friends who pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 2003 slaying — one was found guilty of manslaughter, and the other was cleared on two charges.

The brother had admitted, through his lawyers, to stabbing his brother Johnathan to death but claimed he did it on his own in an uncontrolled rage, making him guilty of manslaughter — not murder.

After months of testimony, a mistrial and more than $1 million in costs to the justice system, the bizarre "Johnathan" stabbing case had gone to the jury for a second time.

The jury retired last Thursday to consider their verdict in one of the city's highest-profile crimes — without being told the back story.
They returned to their hotel, and remained sequestered.

Before they began hearing evidence last December in the first-degree murder trial of three teens charged in the 12-year-old boy's death, they had been told the first trial had ended in a mistrial, but not why.

When they saw the Crown's star witness — a poised 16-year-old girl — take the stand in youth court and answer questions about her Web postings on "vampire" sites and her use of email handles like "biteforblood," they weren't informed it was just such references that had aborted the first trial.

The case concerns a boy who can only be identified as "Johnathan", whose bloodied 100-pound body was found Nov. 25, 2003, in the basement crawl space of his east-end home with 71 cuts, hacks andstabs.

He had died within minutes of a vicious attack, drowning in his own blood and unable to cry out because his voice box was cut.

Such horrific evidence held the city in its thrall during the first trial — a tale of seemingly casual adolescent brutality — its centrepiece a six-minute tape recording of the three teenage boys boasting of plans to wipe out Johnathan and his family.

Johnathan's older brother, 19, and two friends, 17 and 18, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the stabbing death. Because the brother was 16 and his pals 15 at the time, they cannot by law be named.

The jury in the first trial was in its second day of deliberations a year and nine days ago when Justice David Watt called a mistrial. He said new information, revealed in a media report about the girl's Web postings, forced his hand because it cast doubt on her credibility.

"I don't see how, in this case, Humpty can get put back together again," Watt told a hushed courtroom. "If this young woman didn't commit perjury, she came close enough."

It brought a halt to a case that had already cost about $1 million in public money and raised questions about how such evidence — readily available to the knowing Internet surfer — was missed.

The problem was that the girl, who cannot be named, seemingly downplayed her interest in vampire fetishism when she testified, contradicting a key defence explanation for the bizarre murder plot tape recording.

Her Web postings, which only came to light after the first jury retired, seemed at odds with her insistence that she found such vampirism ridiculous.

She testified in both trials that on Nov. 25, 2003, at age 14, she was shocked when a vampire-fantasizing former boyfriend revealed a plot to kill Johnathan, his stepfather and mother as they returned home, one by one.

So she banded together with four girlfriends to phone and secretly tape him and his friends repeating their claims, so she would have proof to bring police.

"Blood is on tap here," the boyfriend said on the tape, trying to entice her to join him with an apparent reference to vampirism. "You can be just an accessory. ... We can hang out in the bedroom while they do it," he urged.

Johnathan's brother came to the phone, saying he wanted to kill his family with "fists and knives" because he was "sick of everything."

"My brother should have been home now, but for some f---ed up reason he's not home yet," he said. "Like he knows what's happening, so he's avoiding it."

The girl asked the third boy, a 15-year-old known to be shy and non-violent: "You're killing people now?"

"Yeah," he replied laconically.

Defence lawyers in both trials maintained the bloody boasts with vampire overtones were just an immature fantasy orchestrated by the boyfriend in a bid to revive a flagging romance. The other two were simply playing along with the joke, they said.

But on the stand in the first trial, the girl denied any interest in vampirism, saying she found it repellent.

She adamantly maintained that position during this second trial, under a different judge, David McCombs.

Although she admitted at the second trial she posted an Internet profile and semi-nude photos of herself on VampireFreaks.com, where she expressed an interest in "blood, pain," she denied any interest in drinking blood and said she was put off by her boyfriend's claims to be a vampire.

Aside from this issue, much of the evidence of family dysfunction, teenage alienation and fearsome brutality in both trials was the same.

Johnathan's brother probably suffered from "intermittent explosive disorder," forensic psychiatrist Dr. Dominique Bourget testified.

In both trials, the deeply troubled youth has claimed, through his lawyers, Daniel Rechtshaffen and Robert Nuttall, to be the sole killer.

Nuttall argued the youth went berserk, stabbing his brother over and over in an uncontrolled rage triggered by a remark by Johnathan about the mess the teens had made. He is guilty of manslaughter, not murder, because there was no intent to kill, Nuttall told jurors.

Lawyers Catherine Glaister and John Dennis, representing the now 17-year-old vampire fantasist, and Dennis Lenzin and David North, for the third boy, argued the two youths were shocked witnesses to the brother's lethal rage.

Jurors heard that the brother told Bourget he woke up angry that day.

He had a long history of family strife, scrapes with the law and poor schoolwork. He skipped school with his two friends, who came over to play video games, smoke and drink wine.

At about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 25, 2003, the vampire-enthralled boy called his girlfriend, who was home sick, from Johnathan's house, revealing the plot to kill the family. She testified she was shocked but unsure what to do.

Later, some, if not all three, boys rifled the master bedroom, then smashed bottles and a TV in the basement.

The girl went to her high school to seek a trusted friend's advice.

She and four schoolmates decided to phone and secretly tape another conversation with the boyfriend so she would have proof for police.

At 4:13 p.m. she phoned the boy. After the taping, one of the girls' mothers called 911. By 4:50 p.m. Johnathan arrived home. By 5 p.m., he was dead.

Five minutes later, police left the home from which the girls made the call, tape in hand.

At 5:29 p.m. Det. Glenn Gray phoned Johnathan's house, pretending to be a telemarketer. The brother calmly told him his parents were not home.

Moments later his stepfather arrived. The "vampire" boy left within minutes.

The stepfather testified his stepson then tried to stab him, while the remaining boy repeatedly hit him on the head with a baseball bat. Lawyers for the two boys argued they were simply defending themselves against the man.

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Co...990&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


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this kid needs help
part of this may be his vampiric fantasies but he definitely had the intent to kill his brother and his stepdad

i hope he gets the help he needs


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poker face said:
Too bad they were too young to be tried as an adult.


oops cap locks...too lazy to retype
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RIP Johnathan. Rage issues aside, this brother needs serious long-term help. No-one wakes up in a rage. Jeebus.
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Just imagine, when karma gets these boys back, they're in for some serious bending over for the big boys.


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crazedcanuck said:
If it isn't juist bullshit....

Even if it were bullshit, the kid needs help. And even in prison, is he going to get help that he seriously needs? So sad. It takes a lot of rage to kill a kid and stab and hack some 71 times. And the other 2 kids are just as fucked up to go along with the plan. :(


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annec said:
Even if it were bullshit, the kid needs help. And even in prison, is he going to get help that he seriously needs? So sad. It takes a lot of rage to kill a kid and stab and hack some 71 times. And the other 2 kids are just as fucked up to go along with the plan. :(

I'm all for help to prevent things like this, but once you've crossed that line, I doubt you can go back.
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i think i read an article about this in toro... all the reporter did was google search the name of the girl who testified, and he found her online journal which was making light of the whole trial. pretty insane.


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fear_of_fours said:
i think i read an article about this in toro... all the reporter did was google search the name of the girl who testified, and he found her online journal which was making light of the whole trial. pretty insane.

her credibility came under fire because of some things she had posted about her testimony in her journal - it was questioned @ one point whether they could use her tape as evidence...she almost fuct things up