96 victim impact statements entered in sentencing for killer of Winnipeg teen

first_imgWINNIPEG – A sentencing hearing for a Winnipeg man who admitted he murdered a teenager and stuffed his body in a garbage bin will go ahead with all 96 victim impact statements.Justice Glenn Joyal has ruled all the submissions are admissible, but only 16 from family and close friends will be read aloud in court.Nicholas Bell-Wright, who was 22 when he was charged, was to face a sentencing hearing last week after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting of Cooper Nemeth in February 2016.But the judge delayed proceedings so he could decide what to do with the eight dozen impact statements.Bell-Wright’s hearing is to resume on Wednesday.Nemeth, who was 17, was shot in the head twice after a house party and his body was found nearly a week later after an extensive search.Investigators said at the time they believed the teen was killed somewhere else and his body moved to the garbage bin on private property — not far from where the party was held.Police also said they did not think there was any gang involvement, but that the killing was drug-related.Joyal opened court on Monday with discussions on the admissibility of all the statements. Last week, court had heard concerns that the number of submissions could have a disproportionate effect on the outcome of sentencing.The Crown had indicated it needed more time to go through all the submissions and Joyal asked that they be whittled down to prevent drawing out the hearings. However, the defence agreed to all the statements being considered.The minimum sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.A memorial for Nemeth attracted hundreds of people. It was organized by the Bear Clan patrol, a group of volunteers who walk Winnipeg’s streets at night to promote safety and provide support to the inner city.(CJOB, The Canadian Press)last_img read more