2 min

First Webster sentencing delayed

Police say fifth person was there

There was a fifth person on the scene at the time of an attack that allegedly killed Aaron Webster, says the detective who investigated the case.

“One was in the bushes and didn’t participate,” Det Rob Faoro said in a telephone interview with Xtra West. Faoro added that he cannot release the person’s name.

Police have maintained throughout the investigation that there were four or five suspects in Stanley Park the night of Webster’s death. But only four people have been charged with manslaughter. And two of them were juveniles at the time of Webster’s Nov 17, 2001 killing, so they also cannot be named under the Young Offenders Act.

The first youth charged in the case pleaded guilty to manslaughter Jul 30. He will be sentenced Nov 19 in Youth Court, 800 Hornby St. He was initially scheduled to be sentenced Oct 28, but his lawyer requested an adjournment to gather material for his submission.

The second man charged under youth provisions is still at the early stages of the court process, since he was only arrested Oct 9, eight months after the first youth. He was granted bail in Youth Court Oct 29.

The decision to grant the second youth bail left Webster’s family shaken.

At the bail hearing, prosecutor Greg Weber outlined the events of the evening and the alleged involvement of the youth. The details of that hearing cannot be published as they are covered by a publication ban.

The man, now 19, spoke only twice as his mother and others looked on from the gallery.

“Oh good,” his mother said quietly as bail was granted, her eyes moist and red.

Under the bail conditions, the man must live with his mother and is allowed out only to go directly to and from work. At any other time, he must be accompanied by his mother or an approved person. He is also not allowed contact with a dozen people including his co-accused.

Webster’s sister, his cousin and his cousin’s wife were seated in front of the youth’s mother.

“My belief in the justice system has been shattered,” Webster’s sister, Faith Quintilian says. “I’m concerned they let accused murderers out. It doesn’t make one feel very safe.

“The community should be just shocked about this.”

The youth returns to court Nov 10 for the official reading of charges, to enter a plea and choose whether he wants to be tried by judge or judge and jury.

His lawyer, Phil Rankin, confirmed in an interview that prosecutors will be seeking an adult sentence for his client if convicted in the case.

As for the adults charged in the case, Danny Rao, 22, was denied bail and remains in custody. Ryan Cran, 21, was initially released but taken back into custody for a Nov 3 arraignment after his parents chose not to follow through with bail. Cran remains in custody.

Publication bans currently cover all court proceedings.