Alberta teen guilty of aggravated assault in attack on Elk Island Youth Ranch worker
An Alberta teen has been found guilty of aggravated assault for an attack on a worker at the Elk Island Youth Ranch near Lamont, Alta. in February 2017.
The teen, who cannot be named, appeared in youth court in Edmonton on Monday morning. He was found not guilty of attempted murder in the attack that seriously injured youth worker Heather Vanderzee.
Two teens, who both have lengthy criminal records, were tried in court separately. Both were originally charged with attempted murder and pleaded not guilty.
The teen who appeared in court on Monday was 15 at the time of the attack. He faced a total of 16 charges.
The judge said he did not find the youth’s testimony believable, but determined there was no specific intent to kill Vanderzee.
In January, the other teen — who also cannot be named — pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of robbery and two counts of breaching a youth sentence. He was given a 303-day sentence for time served, along with nine months’ probation.
Last year, Vanderzee told Global News that the attack broke every bone in her face; she was stabbed in the cheek and there was an attempt to cut her throat.
Watch below: Heather Vanderzee explains how every bone in her face was broken, she was stabbed in the cheek and she said there was an attempt to cut her throat.
After the first teen pleaded guilty to lesser charges, Vanderzee said she did not feel that justice was served.
“I’ve changed a lot… and I’ll never be the same… physically and mentally,” she told Global News in January, adding she still couldn’t remember the night of the attack.
“What they did to me, I have to live with the rest of my life, and I still have a lot of surgeries.
“I’m not eating that much yet… because I’ve got no teeth in yet and the plastic that’s in my mouth, well, I’ll be happy when that comes out… My eye is really bad. I’ve got a plastic socket behind my eye… and my nose, it has nerve pain, so it burns all the time.”
In court Monday, the youth sat beside his lawyer with his head down on the desk, looking tired.
Sentencing submissions and victim impact statements in the youth’s case will be heard on March 7.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.