Three found guilty in Tyler Johnson murder; fourth of manslaughter
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.