Teen who stabbed girl more than 100 times gets life in prison
A Cape Breton teenager found guilty of second-degree murder for stabbing his girlfriend more than 100 times has been sentenced as an adult to life in prison.
Melvin Skeete Jr., who was 16 years old at the time of the incident, was sentenced Monday in Nova Scotia Youth Court to life in prison with no chance of parole until Dec. 3, 2017.
That will mark seven years since Skeete Jr. killed Brittany Green, a 17-year-old from Glace Bay, on Dec. 3, 2010. She had 104 wounds, from several different knives, one of which was broken off in her body.
The identities of both parties were previously protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
"F--k these people, man," Skeete Jr. said as he was led out of the courtroom on Monday.
"F--k the judge, f--k the police, f--k the system."
Green's family had requested that her name be made public.
"We wanted people to know it's Melvin Skeete who did it to her, that's the main reason," said Green's uncle, Raymond Brewster.
Victim impact statements presented in court by Green's family and her best friend described the young woman as a kind, thoughtful person who was always there for her friends and had dreams of becoming a model.
The court heard how she would stop in at her friends' houses on her way to school to make sure they wouldn't be late. An aunt said Green was good with children, especially her cousins.
After suffering some trauma in her early life, Green was raised by her grandmother, Theresa Brewster, who adopted her when she was young.
She had a large family, who said the hardest thing to accept is how they will never see her graduate, get married or have her own children.
Green's grandmother told the court the girl had struggled with her own problems, including drug use, but said she worked hard to overcome them. She had spent time in a substance abuse treatment program at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, and her family said she had been doing well.
Skeete Jr. told the court that he and Green had been dating for four months at the time of her murder. He told the court he loved her.
High risk to reoffend
Skeete Jr., now 18 years old, was found guilty of second-degree murder in August.
He testified he took pills and drank moonshine at the time of the murder and said he doesn't remember anything until the police woke him up in a cell early the next morning.
Information from a sentencing hearing late last year was used to determine whether Skeete Jr. would be sentenced as a youth or as an adult.
A psychologist with the IWK Health Centre who testified at the sentencing hearing said Skeete Jr.'s long history of violent behaviour, his anti-social behaviour, violent outbursts and substance abuse concerned her.
Based on her assessment, she told the court Skeete Jr. is at a high risk to violently reoffend.
Brewster said her granddaughter knew Skeete's past but never felt she was in danger.
"No she wouldn't even have thought of that," said Brewster. "She would have thought she was helping him. She said to me, 'Nan, if you hear anything, any stories about him, give him a break.'"
Crown prosecutor Steve Drake said the judge made the right decision.
"This is a very serious and complex case and the facts pointed to an adult sentence — the psychological profile of Melvin Skeete pointed to an adult sentence, 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 Drake.
"The judge took all those things into consideration and other factors and came up with, what we think, is the proper decision to hold him accountable."