Judge accepts Elmira teen's second-degree murder guilty plea in death of his mother
Published Tuesday, June 23, 2020 1:10PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 23, 2020 6:24PM EDT
KITCHENER -- WARNING – Some details may be disturbing to readers.
A judge has accepted an Elmira teen's guilty plea of second-degree murder in the death of his mother.
The teen had been tried on a charge of first-degree murder, with the Crown and defence arguing over a number of internet searches around the time of the woman's death.
Bruce Ritter, the lawyer representing the teen, tells CTV News that the ruling came down this morning and the judge accepted the teen's plea to the second-degree murder charge.
The attack happened in November 2017, but the woman's body wasn't found until almost a month later.
In March, the Crown argued that the teen stabbed his mother more than 60 times because she wanted to reduce the amount of time he spent playing video games.
The court heard that the woman had spoken to her brother and reached out to her son’s school with concern about his grades.
The victim’s brother testified that he went to her home on Christmas Day after she didn’t respond to his phone calls and text messages.
Det. Const. Matthew Loschmann testified in March that the teen had searched several questions on Google just hours before the woman's death.
Around 1 a.m. someone typed “how hard is the skull” into the search engine on a computer in the basement of the home near the teen's room.
Then for the next seven hours, police testified, the user sporadically looked up video game sites.
At 8 a.m. there was another google search, this time for “how to treat a deep cut.”
The Crown argued that the internet searches showed premeditation and were key to the charge of first-degree murder, but the defence contended that the questions were not proof that the murder was planned.
"My client did not ask 'how to stab a skull?' or 'if I stab someone will it kill them?'" they said. "None of that is searched for."
The defence argued that his client typed in the query after the assault, suggested it was made in disbelief, and says the teen meant, "wow. I can’t believe how hard the skull is."
Closing arguments in the case were made in March.
The case had been put over until this month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With reporting from Nicole Lampa