One of the two teenagers accused in the fatal stabbing of 14-year-old Devan Bracci-Selvey outside Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School on Oct. 7 has seen his first degree murder charge withdrawn by the Crown, according to the teen’s lawyer.
Toronto Lawyer Jordana Goldlist, who represents the 18-year-old who was charged, says the Crown dropped the murder charge, feeling there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction.
The teen, who appeared at the John Sopinka Courthouse in Hamilton on Friday morning for a bail hearing, is now facing assault charges including assault with a weapon, administering a noxious substance and possession of a prohibited weapon, according to police.
He was released on bail with conditions.
Police say emergency crews were called to the Main Street East school just before 1:20 p.m. on Oct. 7, forcing nearby schools and a daycare centre into a brief hold-and-secure.
Bracci-Selvey, who had been injured in what police called a “serious assault,” was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital where he later died.
Two people were arrested after the incident. A 14-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were each subsequently charged with first degree murder.
The 14-year-old youth is still charged with first degree murder, say police.
Neither of the accused can be named due to a publication ban with provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Bracci-Selvey’s death has prompted a number of anti-bullying initiatives and dialogue about violence in schools across the city and province.
In early November, Hamilton’s public school board chose a team to lead a bullying review panel to provide independent feedback and recommendations on how to deal with bullying before May 31, 2020.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce used the tragic story of Bracci-Selvey as the catalyst for the province’s new measures to combat bullying in schools, introducing a plan to educate school staff on how to deal with bullying and employ de-escalation techniques.
On Tuesday, a number of unions representing education workers in Hamilton said they would be developing their own task force after accusing local school boards of not doing enough to curb violence.