A man who went on trial for the second-degree murder of 18-year-old Harmin (Harvey) Hans of Abbotsford was found guilty Friday afternoon of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Sentencing for Amrit Gill, 23, has been delayed until Jan. 4 in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.
Justice William Grist told the packed courtroom – mainly consisting of Hans’ family and friends – that the evidence did not conclusively prove that Gill was the man who fatally stabbed Hans in the neck on May 24, 2008.
However, Grist found that Gill participated in the assault which led to Hans’ death.
Gill’s co-accused, Shavinder (Shevy) Brar, previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison.
At Brar’s sentencing hearing in June, Grist said there was no conclusive proof that Brar was the one who wielded the knife.
Brar and Gill have each denied being the one in possession of the weapon.
The court heard that the pair went to Hans’ home on Ridgeview Drive in the early-morning hours to confront the teen over a fight he had had with Brar’s brother.
Hans was out at the time and they called him on a cellphone from the driveway to tell him they were waiting for him.
Witness testimony indicated that Brar was making punching noises and fighting motions during the wait, and Gill pulled from his pocket a shiny object that appeared to be a “shank” (makeshift knife) and said, “I’ll get him with this.”
Other men appeared on the scene, and one of them gave a Taser to Gill, according to witness testimony.
Hans arrived home in a vehicle with three others. Brar approached him first, followed by Gill, and a fight ensued. Three or four other men joined in, and one of Hans’ friend was Tasered by Gill during the attack.
The court heard that Hans collapsed on the ground, and was bleeding from his neck. He was rushed to hospital, where he died a short while later. A short folding knife was found at the scene.
Grist said the witnesses were credible, and he did not believe Gill’s account that he was standing across the street at the time Hans was attacked.
However, he ruled that Gill was guilty of manslaughter, and not murder, because there was not enough proof that Gill had wielded the knife or that he went to the scene with the intention of killing Hans.
Grist also ruled that Gill’s bail should not be revoked, meaning he will remain in the community while awaiting sentencing.
A spokesman for the family said in a written statement that they are content with the manslaughter conviction, but hope that Gill, who has shown no remorse, will receive a serious sentence.
“It does not in any way seem fair, as we have lost a young, amazing and ambitious member of our family. Criminals like Amrit Gill and Shevy Brar should be punished more severely to help avoid similar tragedies in the future.”