June 24, 2014 5:03 pm

Family of young murder victim faces son’s killer in court

CALGARY- A devastated family came face-to-face with their son’s killer on Tuesday, getting a chance to say how his actions have changed their lives forever.

18-year-old Joshua Hogarth was stabbed to death in August 2012. His friend Byron Blanchard was originally charged with second-degree murder, but pled guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Josh’s mother and brother left court on Tuesday, emotionally exhausted.

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“You can’t put it into words,” Debbie Hogarth says, of her pain. “You just can’t. I have three sons who are broken and I can’t help them.”

“It will always be different, it will always be ruined,” adds Josh’s brother Ryan. “There will always be an empty void and there’s nothing that can fill it. Seven, eight years, whatever [Blanchard] gets will never bring him back.”

Blanchard addressed the court, asking for forgiveness, but the Hogarths didn’t feel it was heartfelt.

“During court he snickers at me, he glares at me,” said Debbie Hogarth. “Even when I was reading my victim impact statements he was…laughing. It’s not genuine.”

The Crown is asking for up to eight years behind bars, while the defence wants four to six years in prison.

The sentence will be handed down next week.

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