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Maximum youth sentence imposed on teen for murdering James Denton

A Comox Valley teen will spend the next four years in custody on top of time already served for murdering James Denton, Justice R.B.T Goepel ruled Friday morning in a Courtenay courtroom.

The judge previously ruled that the teen, who cannot be named due to conditions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), was guilty of second-degree murder.

Crown prosecutor Gordon Baines noted immediately following the conclusion of the trial in June that he would seek an adult sentence. To support his request, Baines presented six aggravating facts to Goepel including that the accused brought a weapon to a public event, that he provoked the fight, and the attack with a knife was done without warning.

However, Goepel imposed the maximum sentence under the YCJA.

Under the YCJA, the maximum sentence for second-degree murder is seven years, with a maximum of four years in custody, and the remainder to be served in the community with conditions and under supervision.

As an adult, second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence, although the judge can set parole eligibility at anywhere between 10 and 25 years.

Denton, 19, was stabbed twice near the entrance to G.P. Vanier Secondary School following a July 2011 day-long music festival at the nearby Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.

Denton was raised in Port Hardy, but moved to the Comox Valley several years ago and attended Highland Secondary School in Comox.

See Wednesday's Comox Valley Record for more.

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