Three found guilty in Tyler John­son mur­der; fourth of man­slaugh­ter

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - NATALIE PADDON

A Hamil­ton judge praised a jury for get­ting two of the city’s most “dan­ger­ous crim­i­nals” off the street so they could spend the rest of their “worth­less lives” in jail.

Jus­tice Toni Skar­ica made his re­marks about Chad David­son and Joshua Bar­reira — two of three men found guilty of first-de­gree mur­der in the slay­ing of McMaster Univer­sity stu­dent Tyler John­son nearly four years ago.

Skar­ica said he “com­pletely” agrees with the jury’s ver­dict, which in­cluded find­ing a fourth man guilty of man­slaugh­ter, and would have come to the same con­clu­sion him­self. “Joshua Bar­reira, you are an evil per­son,” Skar­ica told court Fri­day, be­fore sen­tenc­ing him to life in prison with no el­i­gi­bil­ity of pa­role for 25 years.

He pointed out that Bar­reira has spent “most of his life” in­volved in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

“You richly de­serve the sen­tence,” Skar­ica added.

Asked if he had any­thing to say, Bar­reira stood in the pris­oner’s box cry­ing and ut­tered, “This is wrong.”

When the same was asked of David­son, he yelled “f--- you,” to which the judge replied, “That’s what I ex­pected him to say be­cause he has a record sim­i­lar to Joshua Bar­reira.”

“I’m very con­fi­dent you would have spent the rest of your life in jail, re­gard­less,” Skar­ica added.

On Fri­day af­ter­noon, af­ter three days of de­lib­er­at­ing, the jury found broth­ers Bran­don and Joshua Bar­reira, and David­son guilty of first-de­gree mur­der.

Weep­ing and cries of cel­e­bra­tion erupted be­fore all three men were sen­tenced to life in prison with no el­i­gi­bil­ity of pa­role for 25 years.

Mean­while, the jury found Louis Re­belo guilty of man­slaugh­ter.

His sen­tenc­ing was put over un­til a pre­sen­tence re­port can be pre­pared.

“When you hang around bad peo­ple … bad things hap­pen to you,” Skar­ica told him.

As the men were led out of court, Joshua Bar­reira yelled, “I was shot at that night, just so you guys know.”

Bar­reira was mak­ing ref­er­ence to the two shots court heard David­son had fired to in­tim­i­date him af­ter John­son was shot.

John­son, a 30-year-old en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent, was shot dead out­side a King Street West pita shop near Hess Vil­lage early on Nov. 30, 2013.

While his mom, Linda John­son, could not be in court be­cause of ill­ness, her aunt Dorothy Bar­ron de­liv­ered a vic­tim im­pact state­ment on her be­half.

“I do not bring a mes­sage to­day of hope or for­give­ness,” she read in court.

“There is not enough words, not enough emo­tion, not enough vengeance to re­lay that to you.”

While life was “bleak with­out Tyler,” John­son went back to work af­ter her son’s death but later had to quit be­cause fam­ily mem­bers of the ac­cused were pa­trons at her work­place, she said in her vic­tim im­pact state­ment.

She now cel­e­brates his birth­day at the ceme­tery.

“My life — his life — could have been so dif­fer­ent.”

At this point, David­son piped in from the pris­oner’s box again, yelling, “Oh, shut the f--- up.”

Nancy Swain, who said she was a friend of Linda John­son’s for more than 50 years, said they were pleased with the case’s out­come.

“Jus­tice was served to­day,” she said. “We feel very vin­di­cated. “We’ve waited a long time for this day.” The trial heard that Joshua Bar­reira, then 25, showed up out­side the pita shop around 3 a.m. the day John­son was mur­dered to pick up his brother, Bran­don, af­ter he called for a ride home from Hess Vil­lage.

David­son, Joshua Bar­reira’s coun­sel said, had asked Bar­reira to sell him crack ear­lier that evening, so Bar­reira ar­ranged to meet him in the park­ing lot be­tween the pita shop and Tim Hor­tons since he would be there any­way pick­ing up his brother.

David­son, 34 at the time, got in Bar­reira’s Jaguar to con­duct the deal, lawyer Peter Zaduk told court dur­ing the trial.

Af­ter loop­ing the block and com­ing back to the park­ing lot, the two men stood at the side of the build­ing — with Bran­don, then 19, along­side as a look­out — to in­spect the crack be­cause David­son had be­come “para­noid” and ac­cused Joshua of rip­ping him off, Zaduk said dur­ing the trial.

While head­ing back to their ve­hi­cles, David­son spot­ted John­son com­ing out of the pita shop and said he had a “beef ” with him, Zaduk re­counted.

Af­ter a brief ex­change, court heard, John­son took a swing at David­son.

David­son pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest.

John­son stum­bled into Tim Hor­tons and col­lapsed in the vestibule, bleed­ing on the ground.

David­son’s lawyer ar­gued dur­ing the trial that his client was too stoned to have formed the in­tent to kill John­son the night he died.

Stephen White ques­tioned Bar­reira’s mem­ory of David­son’s “beef” re­mark and noted his client had been de­scribed as “para­noid,” “yelling” and “out of con­trol.”

White ar­gued David­son should be guilty of man­slaugh­ter, but not mur­der.

Re­belo’s lawyer, mean­while, said there was no “clear rea­son” why his client, who was 26 at the time, would have helped the Bar­reira broth­ers or David­son kill John­son. Greg Dorsz de­scribed Re­belo’s ties with the Bar­reira broth­ers as ten­u­ous while he’d barely met David­son.

Out­side court, Zaduk — who rep­re­sented Joshua Bar­reira — said both broth­ers are plan­ning to ap­peal their guilty ver­dicts.

“I be­lieve they have very strong grounds for ap­peal,” he said. “They will likely get a new trial.”

Jor­dana Goldlist, de­fence coun­sel for Bran­don Bar­reira, de­clined to comment.

Tyler John­son: killed in 2013.


Chad David­son’s lawyer, Stephen White, leaves the court­house Fri­day.

Louis Re­belo was found guilty of man­slaugh­ter. Ash­ley Dore-David­son flips off the me­dia as she leaves court Fri­day. Her hus­band, Chad David­son, was sen­tenced to life in prison for the first-de­gree mur­der of Tyler John­son.

Bran­don Bar­reira was found guilty of 1st-de­gree mur­der.

Joshua Bar­reira was found guilty of 1st-de­gree mur­der.

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