Ontario’s top court upholds conviction, sentence for Const. James Forcillo

TORONTO — Ontario’s top court has dismissed the appeal of a Toronto police officer who was convicted of attempted murder in the fatal 2013 shooting of a troubled teen on an empty streetcar.

Const. James Forcillo had fired two separate volleys at Sammy Yatim, an 18-year-old who was wielding a small knife, in an incident that was caught on video and sparked public outrage.

At his 2016 trial, the Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder related to the second volley, but was acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree murder related to the first volley.

In upholding Forcillo’s attempted-murder conviction and his six-year sentence, Ontario’s Court of Appeal found Forcillo’s second hail of bullets was “clearly unnecessary and excessive.”

“As the trial judge stated, the appellant’s conduct in firing the second volley constituted a ‘fundamental failure to understand his duty to preserve all life and not just his own,’” the appeal court ruling said.

The officer had asked the appeal court to substitute a not-guilty verdict or order a new trial in his case. He also appealed his sentence, which was a year more than the mandatory minimum.

Forcillo argued the trial judge improperly excluded evidence on Yatim’s state of mind, and wrongly instructed the jury to consider the two volleys of gunfire as separate incidents.

His lawyers said the appeal court’s ruling marked a “very difficult day” for Forcillo

“It remains our view that the appeal raised important and difficult legal questions,” Michael Lacy and Bryan Badali said in a statement. “We will carefully review the court’s decision and in consultation with our client will make a decision as to whether or not we will seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.”

Toronto police suspended Forcillo without pay after he was sentenced in 2016.

Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray has said an internal disciplinary process — which could result in Forcillo being dismissed from the force — would begin once the appeals process is over.

Forcillo was initially out on bail pending the outcome of his appeal.

In November 2017, however, he was charged with breaching the conditions of his bail after authorities found him living at the home of his new fiancee and not with his ex-wife, as the court had instructed him.

Forcillo had his bail revoked and was later charged with perjury and attempting to obstruct justice. He is scheduled to return to court on May 4 to address procedural issues related to the newest charges.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer shows respect at annual celebration

Central Alberta Sexual Assault Suport Centre holds Respect Day at city hall park

Red Deer man sentenced to 4 1/2 years for fatal shooting

Mother-of-two was killed when a rifle in a sports bag accidentally went off in February 2017

Kitten found in engine is “so far, so good”

It’s kitten season at Central Alberta Humane Society in Red Deer

Fathers’ rights group to rally in front of Red Deer Courthouse

For a few months now, Mattias Battauz has been in front of… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s Food Truck Friday opens in a larger new venue

Carnival Cinemas space praised by customers and vendors

NDP nominates candidate for pending Innisfail-Sylvan Lake byelection

Seat vacant after previous MLA charged with sexual assault

Hunt underway for two suspects connected to Mississauga, Ont., blast

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police are actively hunting for two suspects believed to… Continue reading

Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

NEW YORK — It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been… Continue reading

Waterline work closes 48th Avenue in Red Deer this weekend

Drivers can expect a major closure in downtown Red Deer this weekend.… Continue reading

Stettler police looking for alleged shoplifter who stole shoes

Stettler Mounties are looking for a woman they say stole a pair… Continue reading

Teamsters union members vote 98.1 per cent to reject CP Rail final offer

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says its members at Canadian Pacific Railway… Continue reading

Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps to 1,600 hectares overnight

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 1,600 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Referendum in Ireland would repeal strict ban on abortion

DUBLIN — Ireland’s referendum Friday represented more than a vote on whether… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month