Teen convicted of manslaughter in fatal stabbing

Youth who killed Surrey dad Sam McGowan will be sentenced later this year.

Sam McGowan was stabbed to death in 2009. A jury found the teen who killed him guilty of manslaughter this week.

A 16-year-old has been found guilty of manslaughter in the killing of a Surrey man nearly two years ago.

The teen, who under the Youth Criminal Justice Act cannot be identified publicly, was initially charged with two counts of robbery and second-degree murder in the killing of Surrey’s Sam McGowan.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to the two robbery charges, and on Wednesday, a New Westminster Supreme Court jury delivered a not guilty verdict on the second-degree murder charge, but found him guilty of manslaughter.

On Aug. 5, 2009, the teen and a friend committed two robberies, stealing cell phones from two other teens, one of them the son of McGowan.

A group of men gave chase, and 42-year-old McGowan found the teen under a porch.

Defence alleged the boy feared for his life. The teen, who was 14 at the time of the incident, plunged a knife into McGowan’s chest, penetrating his sternum and killing him.

According to defence lawyer David Tarnow, like the rest of the adults, McGowan had been yelling “You’re f___ing dead.”

The teen, Tarnow said, had no choice but to defend himself.

“Ultimately, he did what he did in order to survive,” he told the jury. “The streets of Surrey can be very tough.”

Michelle Proulx, McGowan’s girlfriend, said at the outset of the trial that his death is only getting more difficult as time passes.

“Everybody tells you it gets better with time,” Proulx said. “It’s not true – you adjust.”

“It’s been a long wait. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep,” she said, adding even when she does manage to get rest, she has nightmares.

A sentencing trial is scheduled for Oct. 7-8.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read