REGINA - A judge who sent a teenager to rehabilitative custody Tuesday for taking part in the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old girl said his behaviour was abhorrent but did not merit an adult sentence.
The teen, now 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Hannah Leflar, who was found by her stepfather in a pool of blood in the family's Regina home in January 2015.
She had been stabbed multiple times with a hunting knife by another boy she had recently dumped.
All three teens were 16 at the time.
Justice Lian Schwann said the Crown failed to meet the test of "diminished moral blameworthiness" that would be required for an adult sentence.
She noted he did not plan nor become actively involved in the murder and concluded he is a low risk to reoffend. Schwann said his best chance would be under intense rehabilitation available under a special Youth Criminal Justice Act sentence.
Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision consists of a period of custody with mandatory treatment followed by conditional supervision and support in the community. The maximum time in custody for second-degree murder is four years.
The teen will not receive credit for 33 months he spent in a youth correctional facility.
The defence had argued that the teen had made bad choices, but was remorseful and should be sent to a youth facility. The Crown had said an adult sentence would balance risk, public safety and rehabilitation.
"She seemed to be quite swayed by the potential for the success with a (rehabilitative) sentence. I'm not entirely sure that the evidence bore that out," prosecutor Chris White said outside a Regina court.
"A lot of what we thought was the actions of a sophisticated killer were better described in her view as immaturity."
White suggested the sentence provides no closure for Leflar's family.
"They were certainly hopeful that there would be an adult sentence for this individual," he said. "They're certainly disappointed."
Defence lawyer Greg Wilson said he understands the family is upset.
"I get that it's not a popular sentence. I get that a lot of people aren't going to like it, but Canadian law is based on consistency. It's based on principles. It's based on the Youth Criminal Justice Act and, at the end of the day, this is what we felt was going to be the appropriate outcome."
A lengthy sentencing hearing in September heard that the teen lured Leflar to her home, then watched as her former boyfriend stabbed her to death.
Skylar Prockner was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced as an adult to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.
He is serving his sentence at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert and has launched an appeal.
The teen said at his hearing that he didn't think Prockner had a knife and was only hitting Leflar. He said he followed Prockner's orders about destroying evidence out of fear he might be harmed.
But he changed his story to say he knew they were going to Leflar's house that day and he didn't try to talk Prockner out of it.
He admitted he looked forward to murdering Leflar, who had also been his friend.
Leflar's mother told the sentencing hearing that the youth "ushered (Hannah) to her death.''
(CJME, CKRM, The Canadian Press)
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had Justice Schwann's first name spelled incorrectly