September 10, 2012
Youth sentence for execution-style murder
By Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency
TORONTO - A young accomplice in the execution-style slaying of a courageous Toronto man who broke the street code of silence received an eight-year youth sentence Monday for his role in the crime.
The 18-year-old — who cannot be legally identified as he was 16 years at the time of the homicide — was given a four-year custodial sentence plus another four years of community supervision for the first-degree murder of Kenneth Mark.
“My family is disappointed. This is one of the biggest disappointments in my life,” Maureen Mark, the victim’s mother, said of the sentence.
Justice Ian Nordheimer rejected the Crown’s bid for an adult sentence — a life term with no parole for 10 years — and opted for the maximum youth sentence youth of 10 years less credit of two years for time already served.
“Imposing a life sentence ... for his limited role in this terrible event, given his age, background and reduced level of maturity” would not be appropriate, said Nordheimer.
Instead, it would only “solidify his position in criminality” and deny him a chance to re-integrate into society, said Nordheimer.
The youth acted as a lookout and a getaway car driver for Mark’s killer, Lamar Skeete, who executed the 30-year-old on Dec. 29, 2009. He ambushed him, firing a single .22-calibre bullet at the victim outside a west end pizza shop.
Mark, a Walmart night supervisor, had earlier bravely testified that Lamar Skeete and his younger step-brother tried to kill him with a shotgun blast to the back, said Nordheimer.
Twelve days after both men were cleared, Mark paid the ultimate price for daring to violate the code of silence.
Skeete, 21, a former rapper, is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
The youth was a troubled and immature teen who stole cars to help others in their crimes. He volunteered to help Skeete murder Mark to gain the killer’s acceptance, said Nordheimer.