On June 2, 2012, Toronto was turned into a scene of terror. On that day, Christopher Husbands drew a handgun and opened fire on a crowded shopping centre food court, killing two people and wounding six others. Friday, November 29, saw the deadly Eaton Centre shooter sentenced to life in prison, but he could actually receive parole in 16 months.

Husbands was originally sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 30 years after he was found guilty of the murders of Ahmed Hassan, 24, and Nixon Nirmalendran, 22.

However, he successfully appealed this first conviction and was given a new trial. At that second trial, he was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

According to CBC, during a sentencing hearing in Toronto on Friday, the convicted shooter was given concurrent life sentences on those manslaughter charges, with a chance of parole after seven years.

However, because the judge gave Husbands 10 years of credit for time served, he will actually be eligible to apply for parole in just 16 months.

Despite that, Husbands' defence lawyer Dirk Derstine told Narcity he believes it is unlikely that parole will be granted to him at the first opportunity.

"Many people in his situation don't," Derstine said.

Derstine elaborated to Narcity that he was disappointed his client was given close to the maximum sentence allowed for manslaughter.

The lawyer also took issue with the fact Husbands was kept in what Derstine called "continuous segregation" while in police custody.

Husbands' defence team had also argued the judge should have considered his upbringing as a poor, black resident in Regent Park in the sentencing.

Derstine told Narcity this principle of law has been used to consider the "disadvantages" those in Husbands' situation face, and how it can contribute to criminal activity. 

During the trial, the accused had admitted he was the shooter, but his lawyers argued he should not be found criminally responsible. Derstine said they will likely be appealing Husbands' sentence. 

The convicted shooter was also found guilty earlier this year on five counts of aggravated assault, as well as causing bodily harm and reckless discharge of a firearm.

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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