A man found guilty of second-degree murder taunted the mother of his victim before leaving the courtroom Friday.
Cory Daniel Barry, 42, was convicted in the June 2010 death of 15-year-old Justin Wendland. The Victoria High School student was waiting at a bus stop in front of the Times Colonist building at 2621 Douglas St. when Barry stabbed him twice in the chest.
After the verdict, Barry turned in the prisoner’s box toward Justin’s mother, Raj Wendland, held up his cuffed hands and said: “Look me up … I’ll be out in 10 years.”
Outside the courthouse, Wendland said Barry’s words were very upsetting. She had taken her usual seat in the front row of the B.C. Supreme Court gallery Friday, and was joined by more than 30 friends and family members.
Several supporters applauded and gasped when Justice Brian Mackenzie gave his verdict. Mackenzie could also have found Barry guilty of manslaughter or not guilty by reason of mental disorder.
Barry was often homeless, has had mental-health issues and suffered a head injury in 2004. His father testified that Barry used a wide array of drugs over the years.
Raj Wendland expressed satisfaction with the verdict because it means the judge found Barry had enough intent in what he did for it to be considered second-degree murder.
Mackenzie said the evidence made it clear Barry understood his actions and the possible outcomes, despite odd behaviour like heading to the police station immediately after the attack.
Court heard that Barry did not know his victim and was not provoked. The defence said Barry thought he was being followed by a gang and attacked because he mistakenly thought Justin Wendland was linked to that gang.
Raj Wendland said she wanted to thank the many people who have shown her kindness “and all the detectives that worked really hard in trying to help Justin.”
She said her son will always be remembered as a kind and gentle person. “[He was] always joking around, helping his sisters.”
The show of support in the courtroom meant a lot to her, she said.
Courtney Wendland, Justin’s 20-year-old sister, said that everyone who knew her brother loved him. “This [verdict] is a long time coming, and he’s missed and always loved.”
Oshia Shillingford and other friends who went to school with Justin sat through the emotional proceeding wearing T-shirts bearing Justin’s photo.
“I’ve been praying for this day for three years,” Shillingford said. “Justin was murdered in 2010. It’s 2013 and now we’ve finally, finally got the verdict we’re looking for. Today was stressful but it’s a weight off our chests. We feel relieved.”
Shillingford said Justin looked after his mother and his sister. “His first paycheque, he bought bear spray for his mom and his sister so they would be protected on their way home from work.”
Alicia Morino, who made the T-shirts the morning after Justin was killed, was also relieved by the verdict. “Justice has been served,” said Morino, her eyes red from crying. “He’s not getting a mental plea. That’s huge. Nobody asked him to be a drug addict. Nobody asked him to get in situations where he was chased around by other people. He didn’t just kill a child, he killed a great kid.”
During the trial, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe said Barry’s complex combination of personality problems, long-standing substance abuse and other issues made him a “baffling” person to try to diagnose. He also noted Barry’s anger and his inconsistencies in answering questions.
A sentencing hearing for Barry will be scheduled at a later date.
© Copyright 2013