Accused of killing brother, 12-year-old boy seeks bail to go to the funeral
By Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 25, 2013 4:30PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 25, 2013 6:27PM EST
MONTREAL--A 12-year-old boy charged with fatally shooting his older brother will seek bail early next week, with his family wanting him to attend the funeral.
"They're mourning as a family and they want all family present (at the funeral)," lawyer Sonia Harvey, a member of the accused's legal team, said Friday.
"It's very important to them that he be released in time to attend his brother's funeral. In fact, it's absolutely necessary to them that he be present."
The boy was charged Tuesday with manslaughter after his 16-year-old brother was shot to death on Monday night at the family home in Dorval, a suburb in western Montreal.
The identity of the accused and the victim cannot be revealed because they are minors. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges during his initial appearance.
Harvey said the family had mandated lawyers to seek bail at the earliest opportunity, so they tried unsuccessfully on Friday to set a date on Monday.
The hearing will be held Tuesday -- just before the viewing and funeral for his brother later in the week.
If he's not granted bail, Harvey indicated Friday she'll petition the court for special dispensation to allow her client to attend the funeral.
"We will ask for a special permission that he be released on humanitarian grounds," she said.
The accused was expressionless during a brief court appearance Friday as his legal team asked that he be given psychological help.
Harvey said her client has only seen a nurse since being detained on Monday and has not been offered any further medical help.
Another member of the boy's legal team explained even a visit with a doctor would help.
"We're not experts but clearly he's a 12-year-old who has experienced a shock, so we want him to be seen by someone to evaluate if he needs help," Karine Doherty said.
Judge Gilles Ouellet agreed to put the pre-teen into the custody of youth protection to ensure he gets psychological help.
The Crown has indicated it will oppose bail come Tuesday.
Prosecutor Marie-Claude Bourassa says she will invoke various reasons, including "the gravity of the crime."
Authorities have said evidence indicates the Monday evening shooting was not an accident.
The boy is also charged with illegal possession of a loaded, prohibited weapon. He faces a maximum three-year sentence on the most serious charge. He cannot be sentenced as an adult.
Police say the teenage victim was shot in the upper body with a handgun they said could have belonged to a family member. The Crown says the investigation is continuing.
The Crown has not provided much further detail about what happened or where the weapon came from.
Wearing a sweater and jeans, the 12-year-old appeared impassive Friday in a courtroom packed with family members, including his parents.
They were briefed before and after the hearing and were later able to see their son privately in another part of the court.
"He's a young man who understands the judicial process quite well and certainly he's impatient and wants to be released," said Doherty.