A judge overlooked the La Loche school shooter’s cognitive ability, fetal alcohol syndrome diagnosis, mental disorders and Indigenous background during sentencing, according to the gunman’s lawyer.
Global News successfully applied to the Court of Appeal to access a sealed notice of appeal, receiving it Thursday.
In the document filed on June 5, defence lawyer Aaron Fox argued there are seven reasons to appeal the judge’s adult sentence of life in prison with no parole eligibility for 10 years.
Fox argued for a youth sentence.
“It is our position that the trial judge erred in her determination that the presumption of diminished moral blameworthiness or culpability had been rebutted in light of the evidence that was led about the youth,” Fox said in a statement to Global News.
The shooter was weeks away from his 18th birthday when he carried out a shooting rampage beginning at a home in the northern Saskatchewan community and ending at the local high school.
He was sentenced as an adult in May, though his identity remains under a publication ban until the conclusion of the appeal process.
The defence stated the shooter should have been sentenced to a youth rehabilitation program.
During proceedings a provincial official testified that the gunman wasn’t suitable for the program given his age.
“We acknowledge that the offences committed were extremely serious but that is a factor to be considered … and does not trump factors relative to the presumption such as his cognitive ability, personality disorders, maturity level, upbringing and background,” Fox said.
The matter will be considered at an appeal hearing, which won’t happen before the court’s fall sitting.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.