KIller out six months early in stabbing death of Burnaby teen

Early release for killer

A 22-year-old man convicted of manslaughter in the swarming death of Burnaby teen Luka Gordic during a grad weekend in Whistler five years ago has been released from custody six months early.

The man – who cannot be identified because he was 17 at the time of the killing – was found guilty of manslaughter and handed a three-year custody and supervision order, with 18 months to be served in custody and 18 months under conditional supervision.

At a hearing last month to review his custody, the man applied for early release after spending a year at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge, according to a ruling on the matter by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes Monday.

Crown prosecutor Hank Reiner argued the convicted man should serve the full 18 months, pointing to the seriousness of the offence, which Schultes has described as “a cowardly venture, in which (the man) and his companions planned to swarm Mr. Gordic, whose only offence was having stood up to Mr. (Arvin) Golic, a bully.”

Reiner argued the man has still not accepted responsibility for his role in the attack, only regret at its outcome.

The man’s lawyer, Donna Turko, however, said her client has performed “extremely well” in jail, both educationally and in his institutional job, and keeping him in prison would amount to “warehousing,” according to Schultes’ ruling.

During his conditional release, the man will have to report to a probation officer, live where directed by the probation officer, be at home between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. seven days a week except with permission from his probation officer, seek and maintain employment or go to school, abstain from drugs and alcohol and participate in counselling as directed.

The man is also banned from going to Whistler and from having any contact with any of his co-accused or any witnesses at his trial. He also intends to appeal his manslaughter conviction, according to Schultes’ ruling.

Gordic, 19, was swarmed by eight to 15 youths outside of a 7-Eleven in Whistler on the May long weekend in 2015 after a dispute between him and one of the members of the group, 18-year-old Arvin Golic.

The attack lasted less than 10 seconds, ending in a fatal stab to the heart.

Golic was found guilty of manslaughter in June 2017 and handed a seven-year prison sentence.

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