Five stories in the news today:
TRIAL BEGINS FOR MAN ACCUSED IN STABBING DEATHS
A trial begins in Calgary today of a man facing five counts of first degree murder in the stabbing deaths of five people at a house party in 2014. Matthew de Grood, 24, is the son of a high-ranking Calgary police officer. A psychiatric review determined de Grood was fit to stand trial, because he understands the charges against him and is able to communicate with his lawyer. His attorney, however, says he isn’t ruling out a defence of not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder.
SENTENCING ARGUMENTS BEGIN FOR TORONTO COP
Lawyers for Toronto police officer James Forcillo intend to argue today that he should be sentenced to house arrest after being convicted of attempted murder in the death of a teenager on an empty street car. Forcillo has filed a constitutional challenge to the mandatory minimum sentence of four or five years that he faces in the shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in July 2013. Forcillo was acquitted of second-degree murder, but was found guilty of attempted murder for continuing to fire after the dying teen fell to the floor. Yatim’s death triggered widespread public outrage.
ACCUSED IN HAMILTON DEATH CONTINUES TESTIFYING
One of the accused in the slaying of a Hamilton man will continue to be grilled today by the lawyer for his co-accused. Mark Smich has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the killing of Tim Bosma three years ago. The lawyer for his co-accused, Dellen Millard, will question Smich over his testimony from last week. Smich told the court Millard shot Bosma and then burned his body. He testified he was terrified of Millard and was forced to help get rid of evidence. Millard has also pleaded not guilty to a first degree murder charge.
TRUCKING COMPANIES HAVING TROUBLE FINDING FRESH BLOOD
Canada’s trucking industry is facing a looming driver shortage. The Canadian Trucking Alliance says almost 30 per cent of drivers are nearing, or have reached retirement age, and it’s having trouble finding young recruits to take the wheel. Some fear the industry could be short as many as 48,000 drivers by the year 2024. Many believe the trucker lifestyle simply isn’t attractive to a younger generation.
SUNSET TRIBUTE TO SASK FAMILY GENERATES GLOBAL RESPONSE
A woman who invited people to send photographs of sunsets to pay tribute to a family of four who died in a January car crash is staggered by the response. Andrea Lawrence came up with the idea of a tribute to Jordan Van De Vorst, his wife and their two young children because the Saskatoon man was an avid photographer. She says she expected only a few dozen responses but ended up with nearly 500, including submissions from Germany, the Netherlands and Barbados.