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

Shorthanded Trail Smoke Eaters end rough road trip

The Trail Smoke Eaters drop all three games of Mainland Division road trip

CP Holiday Train headed to Castlegar

The festive food bank fundraiser will take place December 12.

Kootenay communities owe names to Chinook jargon

Place Names: Taghum, Lebahdo, Sitkum Creek, and Chahko Mika come from pidgin trade language

Trail police looking for tips to identify vandals

Greater district detachment reports several business were tagged with spray paint

WorkSafeBC investigating serious incident at Trail landfill

Incident shuts down McKelvey Creek landfill Friday morning

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read