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Slain teen Lucas Gaudet ‘wasn’t at the centre of the conflict,’ says prosecutor | #students | #parents

A planned fist fight between feuding teens outside St. Thomas High School in Pointe-Claire ended in the 16-year-old’s death. Gaudet’s assailant, also 16, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder.

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Lucas Gaudet and his 16-year-old assailant weren’t involved in the original dispute that led to his fatal stabbing in Pointe-Claire in February.

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But agreeing to participate in a planned fist fight between feuding teens outside St. Thomas High School ended in tragedy for both young men.

Gaudet, 16, died two days after being stabbed in the back while fleeing the brawl.

His attacker, who took a knife to the fight, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder and will spend the next 34 months in a youth detention facility.

The day before the fight, the 16-year-old discussed the upcoming confrontation while riding the school bus, Crown prosecutor Annie Barbeau said in an interview with the Montreal Gazette.

The next day, seven youths from John Rennie and Horizon high schools showed up outside St. Thomas all dressed in black. Gaudet was with them.

“He was there to support his friends … and wasn’t at the centre of the conflict,” Barbeau said, adding that none of the seven carried weapons.

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A couple of the John Rennie students had been challenged to a fist fight after they chastised two from St. Thomas for intimidating a John Rennie student while he was visiting their school the previous week, according to a statement of facts presented during last week’s sentencing hearing.

When the seven youths arrived at St. Thomas, the 16-year-old and one of his friends were waiting for them.

The 16-year-old was punched in the face and “fell to the ground in a dazed state,” Barbeau said.

As he got to his feet, he saw about four teens kicking his friend who was on the ground. The footage was widely shared on social media in the days after the fight.

The 16-year-old lunged at one of the youths with a knife and stabbed him in the chest. He then chased a fleeing Gaudet about four metres and stabbed him in the back, causing serious damage to his left lung and blood vessels.

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As Gaudet cried out for help and civilians rushed to his side, the 16-year-old boarded his school bus, parked close to the scene.

“He was bleeding from his nose” after being punched, Barbeau said.

Police arrested the 16-year-old a few hours later, but never recovered the knife.

After the teen agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated assault, Barbeau and the defence lawyer agreed on a five-year sentence. The teen will serve almost three years in a detention centre followed by almost two years in the community, under strict supervision.  He cannot be identified because he’s a minor.

During his detention, he will attend school with other young offenders and participate in programs about anger management and empathy training.

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Gaudet’s mother told the Gazette on Tuesday that the sentence was not long enough, but said she has to accept it.  The maximum sentence her son’s assailant could have received was seven years.

“No amount of time will ever be enough,” Lynne Baudouy said.

She said she hopes the youth understands the severity of his crime.

“I think he does, because that’s one of the things I said in my victim impact statement (in court). I truly wish he becomes a parent so he can understand a sliver of the pain we went through.”

When deciding on a suitable sentence, prosecutors in youth court have to consider the public’s safety, the rehabilitation of the offender and his reintegration into society, Barbeau said.

By pleading guilty at the first opportunity, the 16-year-old has taken responsibility for his actions and avoided a long and difficult trial for everyone, she said.

The tragic outcome of the brawl should serve as a warning to teens about the danger of carrying a knife.

“Don’t bring a knife to school,” Barbeau said.

“Adolescents often say they carry a knife to protect themselves. It’s very dangerous. It can (end up being) them who commits an irreversible act.”

  1. ‘No amount of time will be enough,’ Lucas Gaudet’s mother says of sentencing

  2. Say his name every night, Montreal mom tells her son’s killer

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