Teen gets life in prison for stabbing girlfriend 104 times
Published Monday, January 14, 2013 2:01PM AST
Last Updated Monday, January 14, 2013 7:54PM AST
Warning: Story contains offensive language
A Cape Breton teen convicted of stabbing his girlfriend more than 100 times has been sentenced to life in prison.
Melvin Skeete Jr., who was 16 years old at the time of the incident, was sentenced as an adult Monday in Nova Scotia Youth Court. As a result, all publication bans were lifted in the case.
Judge Anne Derrick called Skeete, now 18, a “very dangerous man” and ruled a youth sentence wouldn’t hold him accountable for the horrific crime.
“The cases across the country for similar circumstances and similar offenders pointed to an adult sentence, and his record pointed to an adult sentence,” said Crown attorney Steve Drake.
Decked out in T-shirts with a picture of the victim, the friends and family of Brittany Green cried tears of relief after hearing the sentence they had been waiting for.
“Ecstatic. Very happy with it,” said Tiffany Steele, a friend of the victim. “I’m sure everyone else is very happy he gets what he deserves.”
The victim’s grandmother says she especially pleased that Skeete was tried as an adult.
“He took Brittany. She was such a good person, you know?” said Theresa Brewster through heavy sobs. “It’s not right, to mutilate her body like that.”
Brewster says she wanted her 17-year-old granddaughter to be named in the case because she wants the public to know who she was. She also hopes the case serves as a warning for young women in abusive relationships.
But not everyone was happy about the sentence; the proceedings were interrupted twice as Skeete hurled obscenities at the judge.
“F--k the judge, f--k the police, f--k the system," he screamed as he was led out of the courtroom.
Skeete flew into a similar rage after he was found guilty of second-degree murder in the gruesome stabbing back in August.
Green’s family says his outbursts in court only further justify the judge’s decision.
“Pathetic. We expected it though,” said Steele. “He’s very temperamental. Every court date, he does something like this, every time.”
Skeete and the Glace Bay girl had dated for about three months before the attack, which took place at the former home of his grandfather in Whitney Pier.
The defence had asked that the charge against the teen be reduced to manslaughter, arguing he had acted in an intoxicated fit of rage after hearing his girlfriend had cheated on him.
But Judge Anne Derrick ruled there was plenty of evidence to suggest the teen knew exactly what he was doing when he stabbed Green 104 times in December 2010.
One example she used was that after a knife blade broke off inside the victim, the teen found another knife and continued the attack against her.
Derrick said she believed the teen didn’t remember the stabbing because he was intoxicated with drugs and alcohol at the time of the attack, but also said that doesn’t mean the intent to kill his girlfriend wasn’t there, as argued by the Crown.
Skeete will be eligible for parole after having served seven years of his life sentence.
The Crown says the parole eligibility doesn’t necessarily mean Skeete will be released, but if he had been sentenced as a youth, seven years would have been the most time he would have spent behind bars.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald