The date for the preliminary hearing for the teenage boy charged in the fatal stabbing of Devan Selvey outside his Hamilton high school last October has been moved up.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named due to his age, made a brief court appearance Wednesday at John Sopinka Courthouse, where Justice Marjoh Agro announced the new dates.
The preliminary hearing will now begin on Nov. 5 and run into December. Previously, it had been scheduled to start in January 2021 due to judges being overbooked.
It’s welcome news for Laurie Dennison, whose daughter Danielle was Devan’s girlfriend.
“It’s [a] relief, it’s going a little earlier than planned. It would be nice to have this over with completely and justice served.”
Devan was 14 and a Grade 9 student when he was fatally stabbed outside Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School last October.
His death prompted a widespread discussion about bullying, as well as the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s creation of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel, which is examining how the board handles bullying at its schools.
The panel has been hearing from the public during a number of sessions between February and March. The next general session will be held on Thursday at Bernie Custis Secondary School from 6 to 9 p.m.
Brian Allen, whose cousin is Devan’s mother, Shari-Ann, said very few people have been showing up to those sessions.
“You’re not going to get an institution like the board to change unless you have a bunch more people that are voicing their concerns,” Allen said. “I think there’s a lot of parents out there that are afraid to come forward because they’re afraid that their children are going to get more abuse … at school.”
“If parents want to fix the problem and want to help their kids, then show up to these meetings.”
Dennison will be meeting with the panel on a one-on-one basis in the near future and said she’s hopeful that it will lead to change.
“Their recommendations are only as good as the board’s willing to take, though,” she said.
The accused, who stood silently in the prisoner’s box during his appearance on Wednesday, will make another court appearance on May 27, when it will be determined whether his trial will go before a jury or a judge alone.
An 18-year-old, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, is also charged in Devan’s death, and he’ll appear in court again on April 6.
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