A 16-year-old found guilty of killing a Kitchener man by stabbing him 19 times may be sentenced as a child.

In March 2010, police were called to an apartment on Green Valley Drive where 49-year-old Larry McDonald was found dead.

The teen, who can’t be named, was arrested one day later on a Canada-wide warrant and has since been found guilty of second-degree murder. He has said the stabbing had little to do with McDonald.

The question now is whether the 16-year-old – who, court was told, had been drinking heavily and arguing with his girlfriend the night of McDonald’s death – should be sentenced as an adult or a child.

A sentencing hearing began Monday in Kitchener court.

Defence lawyer Craig Parry says if the teen is sentenced as an adult, he could be eligible for parole after only seven years, minus time already served.

“As a youth, he might get a sentence of up to seven years, four of which would have to be served in custody and three on the youth equivalent of parole,” Parry told CTV.

A psychiatrist appeared in court Monday to present a court-ordered mental assessment of the teen. He said the teen showed violent tendencies at an early age and has serious personality problems.

The psychiatrist testified that when the teen talked about the crime, he did so in a very detached manner with no tears and little emotion.

The teen was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of second-degree murder.

The hearing is expected to take at least another six days over the course of the next month.