The Hamilton Spectator

Man sentenced to time-served in stabbing death of Mike White

Angelo Graci admitted to driving his son on morning of the fatal incident

- NICOLE O’REILLY NICOLE O’REILLY IS A REPORTER AT THE SPECTATOR. NOREILLY@THESPEC.COM

More than three years after Michael (Mike) Ivo White was fatally stabbed, one of two men charged in the 42-year-old’s death is free after being sentenced to time-served for manslaught­er.

Angelo Graci was originally charged, alongside his son Angelo Miller, with first-degree murder in the Dec. 13, 2020, stabbing on East 27th Street, near Concession Street. However, the 62-year-old pleaded guilty in court Friday afternoon to manslaught­er after admitting to driving his son as he hunted for White that morning.

The plea, already delayed once last month, nearly didn’t happen a second time after Graci disagreed with some elements of the agreed statement of facts. However, after clarifying questions from his lawyer, Leora Shemesh, the plea went ahead, with Graci adding some caveats to the agreed facts.

Graci, who used a cane to walk, took the witness stand, where assistant Crown attorney Sean Doherty had Graci confirm certain facts and sign the document. Graci admitted to driving Miller, knowing that his son intended to assault White, with the potential for White to be seriously hurt.

However, Graci told the court he did not see his son stab White — despite evidence that the stabbing began outside his car. Graci also claimed that there was a third person in the car.

Doherty told the court that he didn’t need to accept that Graci didn’t see the stabbing, or that there was another unnamed person involved, because those claims were not relevant to the plea.

The case against Miller has not been proven. He is scheduled to stand trial in September.

According to the agreed facts ready by Doherty, Miller and White were together with two women in Miller’s Concession Street apartment on the night of Dec. 12 when Miller accused one of the women of being a police informant.

He threatened to kill her, cut her hair and poured bleach on her, Doherty said. White distracted Miller by claiming he heard a knock at the door. While Miller went to his bedroom, White opened the door and left it slightly ajar and then went to speak with White, distractin­g him while the woman escaped.

Doherty later told the court that, while White struggled in his personal life, he did something admirable that morning when he helped her flee.

“One of his final acts was one of compassion and mercy … a kindness not afforded him,” he said.

He described White’s death as “nothing short of tragic.”

The Crown and defence put forward a joint submission that Graci be sentenced to five and a half years. After credit for time in jail during COVID and enhanced credit for pretrial custody, that meant he had one day and could be released from the courthouse.

Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman accepted the joint submission, telling White’s family there was nothing he can say to take away from their grief and loss.

Graci was also sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to submit a DNA sample, is prohibited from possessing weapons, and must stay away from White’s family and witnesses in the case.

According to the agreed facts, the woman who escaped fled to a nearby convenienc­e store around 5 a.m. and called a cab. When Miller noticed she was gone, he “lost his temper” and was heard phoning his father saying, “I need you, dad.”

Graci left his home in Glanbrook and drove his blue Kia Soul to his son’s place.

Surveillan­ce video from around the area shows the other woman arriving at the same convenienc­e store, followed by White, who bought a milkshake, before walking along Concession. Surveillan­ce video also showed the Kia Soul driving back and forth on Concession, before Miller gets out and walks toward White. The pair walked together on Concession, while Graci parked on East 27th Street a little before 6 a.m.

The Crown said Miller chased White before White was pinned against a vehicle and stabbed. Witnesses reported hearing a man crying for help. Miller got back into his dad’s car and the vehicle sped off.

Police received multiple 911 calls to the scene, where White was found in the street with multiple stab wounds. He died in hospital the next day. An autopsy showed he was stabbed 15 times, with a wound to his neck being fatal.

Following the stabbing, police were also investigat­ing the incident in Miller’s apartment, and it was through that case that police identified Miller and Graci. Graci initially told police he didn’t leave his house and wasn’t on Concession that day. Police found White’s blood on the inside and outside of the passenger door of Graci’s blue Kia and Miller’s phone in the glove box.

In court Friday, White’s and Graci’s families lined different sides of the courtroom. White’s family submitted a victim impact statement, but did not want it read aloud.

In explaining the plea, Doherty also noted that Graci had been in jail since his Jan. 20, 2021, arrest and that his trial wasn’t scheduled to begin until September. There was a good chance the case could have been tossed in a Charter applicatio­n that the case surpassed the 30-month limit.

Shemesh told the court that the 62-year-old was born in Canada and is a father of six children; Miller largely lived with his mom, while Graci’s other five children were born out of a different relationsh­ip. He had some guilt for not having as close a relationsh­ip with Miller.

Graci worked in constructi­on until an injury 25 years ago made him unable to work. He has been in poor health in jail, including constant pain and requiring a hernia operation. At one point during his incarcerat­ion he was transferre­d back and forth between detention centres, and his medical equipment — including orthopedic shoes and back brace — went missing.

Before sentencing, Graci stood and said he was sorry to White’s family.

Shemesh said he has guilt over leaving, not knowing the extent of White’s injuries.

Angelo Graci was originally charged, alongside his son Angelo Miller, with first-degree murder. However, the 62-year-old pleaded guilty in court Friday afternoon to manslaught­er

 ?? HAMILTON POLICE SERVICE ?? Michael White, 42, died of his injuries after being stabbed at East 27th and Concession streets on Dec. 13, 2020.
HAMILTON POLICE SERVICE Michael White, 42, died of his injuries after being stabbed at East 27th and Concession streets on Dec. 13, 2020.

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