Morn­ingstar sen­tenced to five-and-a-half years

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

A 21-year-old man orig­i­nally from Ni­a­gara Falls has been sen­tenced to over five years in jail for his in­volve­ment in an armed rob­bery in Shearstown and in­sti­gat­ing a riot at Her Majesty’s Pen­i­ten­tiary (HMP) in St. John’s.

Barry Austin Morn­ingstar at­tended a St. John’s court Wed­nes­day, Aug. 13, for sen­tenc­ing af­ter plead­ing guilty to nu­mer­ous charges, in­clud­ing pos­ses­sion of a weapon for a danger­ous pur­pose and unau­tho­rized pos­ses­sion of a firearm.

On April 22, Morn­ingstar was at a res­i­dence in the Con­cep­tion Bay North com­mu­nity, when he loaded a sawed off shot­gun. He pro­ceeded to point the gun at the face of a ca­sual ac­quain­tance and de­manded cash.

When the vic­tim re­fused, Morn­ingstar, who was re­sid­ing in St. John’s at that time, be­gan as­sault­ing him with a set of brass knuck­les. Brass knuck­les are a pro­hib­ited de­vice in Canada. He also choked the vic­tim dur­ing the as­sault.

Morn­ingstar stopped when another person took money from the vic­tim’s pocket and handed it over. At that time, the vic­tim was able to flee the res­i­dence.

A war­rant was is­sued for Morn­ingstar’s ar­rest April 29.

Af­ter a week­long man­hunt, he was ar­rested at a home in St. John’s.

The sec­ond in­ci­dent stems from a riot that took place at HMP June 3, which was in­sti­gated by Morn­ingstar.

Morn­ingstar threw a mop bucket at a guard- room win­dow, and threat­ened another in­mate. This led to a riot, where 11 oth­ers were also charged. Over $100,000 in dam­age was done dur­ing that in­ci­dent.

That was not the first in­ci­dent of ag­gres­sion by Morn­ingstar while in cus­tody.

On May 9, he had a vi­o­lent out­burst in the Har­bour Grace court­house. The top of his head was split open af­ter hit­ting him­self re­peat­edly in the head with his own hand­cuffs.

Morn­ingstar has re­ceived a sen­tence of over five and a half years in jail. He has been given credit for time served, and has five years and five months re­main­ing on his sen­tence.

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