Eaton Centre shooter sentenced to life in prison

The Eaton Centre shooter has been sentenced to life in prison, but with time served he'll be eligible to apply for parole in a little more than a year. Mark McAllister with reaction from the court house.

By News Staff and The Canadian Press

More than seven years after he opened fire in the Eaton Centre food court, killing two and injuring six, Christopher Husbands has been sentenced to life in prison.

During sentencing the judge noted that Husbands’ remorse for the victims of the 2012 attack was “ambiguous at best” and he pointed out that Husbands was out on bail at the time, breaching numerous conditions.

“He was criminally reckless as to how many totally innocent bystanders could be caught in the line of his fire,”Justice Brian O’Marra said in his decision. “Could this incident have been worse? Yes, it could easily have been three, four, five or more people killed or wounded by his actions.”

Husbands’ defence team tried to argue that he suffered from PTSD due to a stabbing months earlier, but the judge decided PTSD was not a “main factor” in the crime.

Husbands was found guilty earlier this year of two counts of manslaughter and five counts of aggravated assault.

On Friday he was handed seven concurrent sentences, of which he has four years left to serve. He’ll be eligible to apply for parole after serving one-third of that time – sometime in the spring of 2021.

Husbands admitted at trial that he was the shooter but his lawyers argued he should be found not criminally responsible due to mental illness. The Crown acknowledged Husbands suffered from PTSD due to a stabbing months earlier but said he was carrying out a vendetta against his attackers.

The trial was Husbands’ second in connection with the shooting. The first one saw him convicted of second-degree murder after being charged with first-degree.

Ontario’s court of appeal overturned that ruling and ordered a new trial after finding the judge had made an error in law regarding jury selection.

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