Guilty plea in fatal shooting at 2018 backyard barbecue
An Ottawa man has been sentenced to 17 years behind bars minus time served in the 2018 killing of Abdifatah Osman, who was shot to death at a backyard barbecue in the city's South Keys neighbourhood.
Tristan Campbell, 39, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Thursday, months after a judge declared a mistrial in the case when a jury couldn't reach a verdict after three days.
In an agreed statement of facts read in court, Crown lawyer Malcolm Savage described a neighbourhood altercation the night before that spilled into the daylight hours of May 27, 2018.
That was when Campbell shot a woman in the stomach before shooting the 31-year-old Osman twice, killing him. The charges related to the woman had been previously dropped.
One of Osman's family members told the court in her victim impact statement that Osman was a "devoted husband and a loving father to two young boys" and that his absence "has left a gaping hole in our lives."
Shooter expressed regret
Campbell expressed remorse for his actions that fateful day and offered an apology to Osman's family, but acknowledged it might fall flat.
"I regret that day and will for the rest of my life," he said.
"Part of me wants to apologize, but I feel like if my family or a loved one was killed and the accused tried to apologize to me, I'd take it as a slap in the face. I can apologize a million, a billion, a trillion times, but it won't bring Mr. Osman back."
In his sentencing, Judge Robert Pelletier cited a number of aggravating factors, including that Osman was unarmed at the time and that the shooting happened in broad daylight when other people could have also been injured.
Yet he cited the fact Campbell has taken responsibility for what he did as a mitigating factor.
No one happy, says lawyer
Outside the courthouse, Campbell's lawyer, Mark Ertel, told CBC the 17-year sentence doesn't make either side happy.
"It's not enough for the family, and it's more than I would have expected as counsel for Mr. Campbell," Ertel said.
"But we've resolved it and he wants to put it behind him and he didn't want to put the family through another trial. So, everybody's just going to move forward from today," he said.
Campbell faces a lifetime firearms ban and must provide a sample of his DNA. He's also been ordered not to contact multiple people, including some of Osman's family members.