Ontario's top court upholds life sentences for Eaton Centre shooter

TORONTO — Ontario's top court has upheld the life sentences for a man who opened fire in Toronto's Eaton Centre mall in 2012, killing two people and leaving several others injured.

In a unanimous decision released today, the Court of Appeal for Ontario found there was "no basis for interfering" in the sentences handed to Christopher Husbands in 2019, which are to be served at the same time and come with seven years of parole ineligibility.

Husbands's lawyers had appealed the sentences on several grounds, including that they were demonstrably unfit and that the trial judge had failed to properly apply the legal framework for considering social context such as anti-Black racism.

Husbands was found guilty in 2019 of two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of Ahmed Hassan and Nixon Nirmalendran.

He was also found guilty of five counts of aggravated assault, one of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and one of intentionally discharging a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of another person.

It was his second trial in the case. In the first one, Husbands was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, as well as the other charges, but he successfully appealed and a new trial was ordered.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2024.

The Canadian Press