Family, friends of Luka Gordic share their stories during first day of sentencing for accused

Click to play video: 'Day one of sentencing in swarming death of Luka Gordic'
Day one of sentencing in swarming death of Luka Gordic
WATCH: It’s day one of a three-day hearing for the young man who was convicted of manslaughter in the swarming death in Whistler of Luka Gordic. Grace Ke has the latest on an emotional day in court – Oct 17, 2017

Heartbreaking stories of pain and loss were heard in a Vancouver courtroom Tuesday, as sentencing began for one of the young men involved in the swarming death of Luca Gordic.

It was the first of an expected three-day hearing to determine the fate of Arvin Golic, who was found guilty of manslaughter in June for his involvement in the 19-year-old’s stabbing in Whistler in 2015.

The Crown has asked for nine to 11 years of jail time.

Over the course of the hearing, 25 statements written by friends and members of Gordic’s family were read out loud.

Some were read by the writers themselves, while some were read by the Crown.

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At one point, Gordic’s mother Clara directly addressed Golic, telling him to look her in the eye as she read her statement.

Gordic’s father Mitch read his own emotional account of how his life has been changed forever.

“I don’t know where my son is,” he read. “I don’t know if he’s warm or safe, or can hear my voice.”

Friends of Gordic described the teen as having a big heart and always being there for them. Cousins described him as more of a brother and a friend.

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Outside the courtroom, Clara Gordic and Luka’s brother Milos said Golic should be given the harshest penalty possible for his crime.

“He was such a bright, beautiful kid, and he died for absolutely nothing by a bunch of wussy cowards,” Milos said. “This guy has shown no remorse.”

Clara described her and the family’s own feelings of despair over her son’s death.

“There’s no words,” Clara said, before offering one: “Devastation.

“We live with this every single minute of the day. We wake up to this, we go to sleep with this. I talk to Luka. It’s ongoing. It’s like a sentence for us too.”

In court last October, jurors heard that Gordic was the victim of a “swarming incident” outside a 7-11 store, where a group of eight to 15 young males, including Golic, surrounded Gordic and prevented him from escaping.

Three more young men, who were 17 at the time of the attack, were also found guilty on Oct. 6 for their involvement.

One of those three, who held the knife that killed Gordic, was convicted of second-degree murder. The other two were convicted of manslaughter.

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A constitutional challenge has been filed in Golic’s case arguing that credit should be given for time already served. Two days have been set aside, but they have not been scheduled, putting the date of when a decision will be made into question.

The sentencing hearing will resume tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.

~With files from Grace Ke, Amy Judd, Kyle Benning, and Jesse Ferreras

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