Judge rejects mandatory minimum, hands bullying victim who fired shots at home 1-year sentence
Published Wednesday, October 2, 2013 2:13PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, October 2, 2013 5:32PM CST
A Manitoba judge ruled that a man should not have to serve the mandatory four-year minimum sentence in a shooting case, citing the accused’s past torment as a bullying victim.
Bryce McMillan, 21, will instead serve a one-year jail term.
“It’s a relief. I’m just glad that it’s all over with,” said Darcie McMillan, his mom.
Her son fired six rounds from a .22 calibre gun into a Carberry home two years ago, only stopping because the weapon jammed.
Court heard he blamed people who lived there for bullying he endured for a number of years.
Court also heard McMillan thought no one was in the home at the time.
“He checked to see if there were any cars. He heard they were at the lake,” said Robert Harrison, defence lawyer.
Two people were, in fact, inside the home, asleep on a couch. No one was hurt in the shooting.
Prior to the shooting, McMillan faced bullying for years, including an incident where someone spray-painted messages about him on the wall of the local post office.
“Constant harassment before this happened. No one should have to go through that and then obviously he did something he shouldn't have done,” said Wendy McMillan, Bryan’s aunt.
The judge said he took that torment into account by overriding the law.
In his decision, Justice John Menzies said the four-year minimum sentence would be cruel and unusual punishment.
“It’s a rare decision. It’s not one you hear every day in the province,” said Harrison.
During sentencing, McMillan addressed the court and said he was sorry for putting his family and friends through the ordeal. He said he wished none of it had happened.
While McMillan could have received a harsher sentence, family members remained emotional as sheriff officers took him away to serve his sentence.
“We’re just hoping he can do his sentence and get on with his life,” said his aunt.
Manitoba Justice is reviewing the case to see if an appeal is warranted.
The defence said it expects there will be an appeal because the decision overrode the law.
- with a report from Jeff Keele