Article by: BOB MITCHELL
– Sadistic killing at 14 may yet land youth offender in prison
Nov 08, 2008 04:30 AM
On April 1, 2003, Justin Morton’s sadistic homicidal fantasies were horrifically played out when he used his own belt to strangle classmate Eric Levack in a wooded area near their Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton.
Now, more than 5 1/2 years later, the legal system is deciding what to do with the first person convicted of first-degree murder under Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Morton, now 20, will appear Thursday in a Brampton court, where legal arguments will be made as to whether he should remain at Syl Apps Youth Centre in Oakville or be transferred to an adult facility.
At 14, Morton murdered Levack, also 14, on the very day Canada’s new youth law was enacted. He lured his victim to the forest under the pretense of a game of trust, testing if his classmate could trust him to tighten a belt around his neck.
He told at least five classmates that he intended to murder Levack. Afterward, he returned to art class and later turned himself in.
Debbie and George Levack will be in court facing the person who once told a psychiatrist that he got the same adrenaline rush and enjoyment from hurting somebody with a knife as he did from looking at presents under a Christmas tree.
The Levacks dread the court appearance and Morton’s possible release in the future. “He can apply for day parole this month,” Debbie said. “Is the public ready for Justin Morton to be on the streets?
“If someone can kill at 14, they can kill someone at 20 or 40. If he had been 18 at the time of the murder, he would have no eligibility for parole for 25 years. That is our new youth act.”
Morton was 15 when he pleaded guilty, on Jan. 7, 2004, and was convicted of first-degree murder. Initially, his name was also protected until Justice James Blacklock decided to give him an adult sentence.
Morton showed no emotion during appearances, which ended with his April 2004 sentencing to life in prison with no parole for at least seven years. In pre-sentence reports, psychological and psychiatric assessments painted a dark picture of a potential mass murderer.
He admitted that after slaying his classmate he experienced homicidal fantasies of torture and killing. Morton said he enjoyed inflicting pain and thought of committing mass murder in a crowded gym.
While awaiting sentencing, Morton read Mein Kampf, drew Nazi swastikas in a Bible, expressed white supremacist views and talked of out-of-body experiences, court heard. He carved “do the crime, do the time” into his arm at Syl Apps.
Killing Levack accomplished two goals, Morton said. He got rid of somebody he didn’t like and escaped his family’s rules.