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article imageManitoba shooter sentenced to less than mandatory minimum

By Arthur Weinreb     Oct 3, 2013 in Crime
Brandon - Bryce McMillan, 21, was sentenced to one year in jail, well below the mandated minimum sentence of four years. The judge found in the particular circumstances of the case, the minimum punishment was excessive.
The sentence was handed down yesterday by Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies. McMillan had pleaded guilty in April to one count of reckless use of a firearm.
Menzies sentenced the 21-year-old to one year in jail, followed by two years of probation. Under Canada's Criminal Code, the mandatory minimum sentence for reckless use of a firearm is four years. Sentences of two years or more must be served in a federal penitentiary, rather than in a provincial institution.
On Sept. 5, 2011, McMillan had fired six rounds from a .22-calibre rifle into the home of one of the persons who had tormented and bullied him for two years. Although he believed no one was at home, two people were in the house at the time. There were no injuries.
When McMillan was 16, one of his best friends was killed in a car crash and he began to act out. It was at that time he began to be bullied. He was taunted, both verbally and physically, and graffiti was scrawled on the wall of the post office in the small town of Carberry where he lived, calling him "a loser."
McMillan had gone to the police but received no help. He told the court, "A human being can only take so much before they push back and I was at the end of my rope. I didn't know what else to do."
The prosecution accepted McMillan's explanation for why he did what he did, but argued the seriousness of the offence outweighed any reduction of his sentence.
Menzies ruled that imposing the mandatory minimum punishment after McMillan spent the last 18 months on bail that was tantamount to house arrest, would constitute cruel an unusual punishment under section 12 of the Charter of Rights.
In justifying the granting of a constitutional exemption, Menzies wrote, "to ignore the bullying...is to ignore the central underlying cause of this crime. There are many ways a victim of bullying may react to prolonged harassment. It should come as no surprise to anyone that lashing out may be one of them."
McMillan's mother, Darcy McMillan, told CBC News she believes the sentence is fair. The 21-year-old's lawyer, Bob Harrison, was pleased with the result but is concerned the Crown may appeal.
Prosecutors are considering an appeal to the Manitoba Court of Appeal.
More about bryce mcmillan, reckless use of firearm, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, mandatory minimum sentences, cruel and unusual
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