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

Andrea Rondeau column: I’ll beg if I have to, to get you to vote

Please, please, please mail in your vote in the proportional representation election.

Sarah Simpson column: Cowichan sure knows when to step up to help

Shortly after my birthday last year I wrote a column about gifts.… Continue reading

Cowichan United seeing positives despite results

U21 team falls to Lakehill, but coaches see improvement

T.W. Paterson column: The story behind the lost certificate, conclusion

In early March 1915 the 5th Bn. was near Estaire, France and several men had already been shot.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read