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

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

In a fight against cancer, Victoria man’s only stem cell match was his own donation

More mixed race and Asian stem cell donors needed, says Victoria family

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Most Read