The boy accused of first-degree murder and attempted murder is back home after the charges were stayed by Crown prosecutors, his lawyer said.
“Last week was tough,” Jim Lutz said. “I just spoke to him again this morning and he has happily settled back into the house. And he is very happy to no longer be incarcerated.
Police had charged the 14-year-old and his 18-year-old brother following a brazen daylight shooting in Calgary’s Marlborough Park neighborhood on Nov. 13 that left a woman dead. person and injured two others.
On Tuesday, those charges were stayed in court after a video came to investigators’ attention showing other people were involved in the shooting and that the brothers were not responsible.
CPS Chief Mark Neufeld said as soon as investigators were able to authenticate the video, they notified Alberta’s Crown Prosecution Service, which requested a stay of the charges.
The city’s top police officer apologized after a “complex chain of events” led police to believe the evidence at the time met the threshold of reasonable and probable grounds to bring charges.
“These accusations will have had very significant consequences on these two young men and their families. And for that I apologize unreservedly,” Neufeld said.
Lutz said he believes Neufeld’s public apology “will make a big difference” in the community and that the brothers are happy to be able to move forward with their lives.
“It will take some time to understand the fact that (my client) was facing such a significant risk. And now he’s free, so give him a few days,” Lutz said.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the brothers’ ordeal was “horrible” and said the police apology was “absolutely appropriate.”
“I am grateful that this apology was delivered at short notice. The investigation continues into both the crime and how these charges were brought and so we will be looking for updates on that,” Gondek said Wednesday.
The brothers were on the waiting list for programs at the Newcomer Center at the time of their arrest.
Anila Lee Yuen, president and CEO of the nonprofit immigrant settlement agency, said recent events have “propelled them to the top of the list,” but the brothers have yet to agree to participate.
“Anytime an event like this happens – of course we all know it’s a very traumatic event that anyone would have to go through, but certainly a 14-year-old boy has to go through that. And the next steps will be the most important, in terms of final results,” Lee Yuen said. “Not only are these two boys going to need a lot of help, but their families are going to need a lot of help as well. And also all the members of the community who also feel affected.
Lee Yuen said the need for services for young people like those whose charges have been stayed is particularly great in the recent period of inflation.
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“The more resources we can put into our youth programs across the city…all these places where young people come together, I think is really important.” And all of us, as adults, if we had even just a few hours to volunteer and participate with young people, I think it would go a long way to creating a community where young people feel safe and where the community feels safe because we all take care of each other,” said the CEO of the Newcomer Center.
Homicide investigation continues
Neufeld said that while police have a responsibility not to charge the wrong people, they also have a responsibility to hold offenders accountable, offenders who, presumably, are still at large.
He said the new video footage helps investigators refocus their ongoing efforts.
Dave Sweet, a former homicide investigator, said it’s not uncommon for new evidence to come to light during an investigation.
“Some of our most high-profile cases over the years have seen these kinds of scenarios play out, where you can focus on an investigative theory in one direction, and then when you realize it’s wrong, you refocus in another direction,” Sweet said. World News. “This happens as part of an investigative process.”
“I think the fact that there is still someone at large will definitely be something that investigators are going to focus on.
“They continue to go out and collect the other information they need to bring this case to fruition.” And so, yes, there’s someone else there, but there’s also probably evidence that’s been collected that’s going to help them or help them identify who the real person is.
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