One of the eight teenage girls facing second-degree murder charges in the death of a homeless man in Toronto has been released on bail.
Three 13-year-olds, three 14-year-olds, and two 16-year-olds are accused of swarming and stabbing a 59-year-old man in the downtown core on Dec. 18. The man later died in hospital.
During a brief online court appearance on Thursday, seven of the co-accused appeared in front of a judge to set a date for a bail hearing. However, as some of the teens are still in the process of retaining a lawyer, a new date for the hearing was set.
The identities of the accused cannot be released under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The seven teens were remanded in custody and are now scheduled to appear for a bail hearing in youth court on Jan. 5, 2023.
The hearing for one of the girls took place a day earlier, on Wednesday. She was granted bail in a separate, in-person court appearance after that of her co-accused.
The girl was led into the courtroom in handcuffs, wearing a face mask and a black hoodie. She appeared impassive as Judge Maria Sirivar read out the conditions of her bail.
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She must not have a cell phone, is not allowed to leave the province, use the internet except for online schooling or have any contact with the co-accused, is not allowed to be outside unless with her surety, may attend school but not leave the school building, is not allowed to have any weapons and must surrender her passport.
Her bail was set at $9,500 with two sureties.
Sirivar will give reasons for her bail decision Jan. 10.
Police haven’t identified the 59-year-old victim, who is from Toronto, as they are working to notify his next-of-kin.
During a press conference last week, Det. Sgt. Terry Browne said what’s alleged to have happened is “swarming-type behaviour” but said he wouldn’t call the group a “gang.”
He said the group of girls met each other on social media and come from different parts of the city. It’s not clear how long they have known each other, he said.
It’s also not clear why they went to downtown Toronto that night.
Prior to the killing, the girls allegedly were involved in another altercation. Browne appealed for anyone who was in the area of York Street and University Avenue sometime after 10 p.m. on Dec. 17 and had an interaction with them to come forward.