Child actor-turned-rapper Buzizi gets life sentence for murder
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2010 10:20AM EST
Child actor-turned rapper Didier Buzizi was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the stabbing death of 29-year-old Maxime Rushemaza.
Buzizi won't be eligible for parole for 12 years after he was found guilty last month of second-degree murder of the fellow Rwandan immigrant over a bottle of liquor.
The presiding judge said an aggravating factor was the fact that Buzizi was on probation when he committed the murder. That's why he didn't get the 10-year minimum sentence for second degree murder that the defence had been requesting.
Agathe Rushemeza kept her head high during the entire trial of her son's killer.
"I have faith in the Canadian justice system," said the Rwandan refugee. "The prosecution did a good job."
On the night of August 26, 2007, Buzizi spent the evening at a St. Denis street bar before going to the after-hours club The 221 on Ontario.
Inside the club Buzizi got into an argument with Rushemaza, who like Buzizi had fled the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s. Prosecutors told the court Buzizi stabbed Rushemaza while friends tried in vain to stop him.
Buzizi was arrested two blocks away from the club, carrying a knife that was covered in blood, and was charged with murder.
As a child actor, Buzizi appeared on the show Fred-dy, which was based on restaurant owners who befriend young people. The show ended in 2002 and Buzizi's career as a child star fizzled.
He then descended into a life of crime, even going to prison on his 18th birthday for a series of violent crimes.
He tried to reinvent himself as a gangster rapper named Bilo Da Kid, where his life imitated his so-called art.
"In the videos, in his music it was the portrayal of violence, it was a portrayal of guns," prosecutor Thierry Nadon told CTV's Stephane Giroux.
"If it had an effect on his violence or not, I can't say."