Father vows to be there again and again for his dead son

With what his father calls only "one per cent of James' friends" converging on the front lawn of the Courtenay courthouse Thursday morning, supporters rallied for justice for James Denton.
The 19-year-old died after he was stabbed late Saturday night near G.P. Vanier Secondary School.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS of murdered 19-year-old James Denton demonstrated Thursday outside the courthouse in Courtenay.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS of murdered 19-year-old James Denton demonstrated Thursday outside the courthouse in Courtenay.

With what his father calls only “one per cent of James’ friends” converging on the front lawn of the Courtenay courthouse Thursday morning, supporters rallied for justice for James Denton.The 19-year-old died after he was stabbed late Saturday night near G.P. Vanier Secondary School.”We’re going to be here until this kid pays and goes away,” said James’ father David Denton about the 16-year-old who is charged with first-degree murder, adding he plans on attending every court appearance.”Every time my son’s name is mentioned, I’ll be right beside him.”Denton noted support for the family within the community has been excellent.”There’s a lot of good people here. But as I talk around town, I’m finding there’s a lot of people who don’t feel safe in our town … the honest citizen doesn’t really have a chance after dark, it seems,” he said.The accused, who cannot be named due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act is in custody after he was arrested minutes after the stabbing, which occurred around 11:30 p.m., following the conclusion of the Rhythm on the Rock festival at the nearby Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.During a short courtroom appearance via video from a youth detention centre, the defendant stared straight ahead, with Denton’s friends and family members filling the first few rows of the gallery.Defence lawyer Robert Miller, representing the defendant’s lawyer — Victoria-based Michael Mulligan — asked for the next court appearance to be Aug. 18, which was confirmed by Judge Peter Doherty in provincial court. Doherty then spoke directly to the families of both the accused and the victim.”This case is going to to go for awhile — it is a serious case where I will be the judge,” he said. “I know emotions on both sides are highly charged. “I’ve seen how this affects families but the conduct in the courtroom must be quiet and be with dignity. I will not tolerate outbursts.”Comox Valley RCMP said the suspect is not well known to police and has no previous history of violence or a criminal record. The Comox Valley RCMP General Investigation Section is investigating as well as the B.C. Coroner Service.Police are interested in speaking to anyone who may have witnessed the stabbing. Witnesses can contact the RCMP at 250-334-1321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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