Teen convicted for murder of James Denton released to halfway house

Will spend next four years at residential facility in Victoria

  • Jan. 30, 2015 3:00 p.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record Staff

A Comox Valley teen who was found guilty of the second-degree murder of James Denton has been released to a community residential facility in Victoria.

Following a mandatory review of his sentencing Jan. 27-28, the teen, who cannot be named due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was sentenced to four years at Manchester House and placed under conditional sentences for the murder of 19-year-old James Denton.

The home provides a structured environment for the transition of people returning to the community from institutions.

Denton, 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.

He later died at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox.

In 2013, Justice R.B.T. Goepel sentenced the teen to four years in custody on top of time served.

He was originally scheduled to be released from custody in January 2017, followed by three years of conditional supervision. Under the original sentencing structure he would have completed his sentence in January 2020 at 25 years of age.

At the time, Goepel told the teen what he did was “inherently stupid, abhorrent and horrifying.”

Justice Trevor Armstrong presided over the sentencing review.

“He served three-and-a-half years for my son’s life,” James’ mother, Brenda Denton told The Record. “It’s not like that’s enough time to heal.”

Denton explained the teen was set for a parole hearing in April, and the  family was set to write a letter to the parole board.

“It’s definitely not an easy thing to do. We’re basically numb.”

She added the teen is not allowed to leave the province for the length of the sentence.