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Crown seeks lengthier sentence for Evan Fry than co-accused

Evan Fry appeared on a video screen from the West Coast Correctional Centre in Stephenville.
Evan Fry appeared on a video screen from the West Coast Correctional Centre in Stephenville.

The Crown prosecutor believes the actions of Evan Fry warrant a longer prison term than his former partner in crime.

Fry, 22, was found guilty in September for break and enter and robbery in relation to a 2015 home invasion in Bay Roberts. This verdict followed a lengthy 13-day trial that included testimony from the elderly victim, who was 85 when she found a man inside her room holding a knife.

That man, Joshua Burton, pleaded guilty in 2015 and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison. Fry was not in the victim’s room at the time.

On Monday, lawyers presented their arguments for sentencing. Their options were well apart from one another.

In the Burton case, Crown prosecutor Natalie Payne sought seven years. For Fry, she went a little bit higher, asking Judge Jacqueline Brazil to consider an eight-year sentence. She cited Fry’s criminal record, which includes convictions for break and enter stemming from events in December of 2014 (he has since served a sentence exceeding a year for those convictions). Payne said the arrest in May of last year amounted to an escalation in Fry’s criminal behaviour.

Fry, 22, was found guilty in September for break and enter and robbery in relation to a 2015 home invasion in Bay Roberts. This verdict followed a lengthy 13-day trial that included testimony from the elderly victim, who was 85 when she found a man inside her room holding a knife.

That man, Joshua Burton, pleaded guilty in 2015 and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison. Fry was not in the victim’s room at the time.

On Monday, lawyers presented their arguments for sentencing. Their options were well apart from one another.

In the Burton case, Crown prosecutor Natalie Payne sought seven years. For Fry, she went a little bit higher, asking Judge Jacqueline Brazil to consider an eight-year sentence. She cited Fry’s criminal record, which includes convictions for break and enter stemming from events in December of 2014 (he has since served a sentence exceeding a year for those convictions). Payne said the arrest in May of last year amounted to an escalation in Fry’s criminal behaviour.

Sheriff’s officers escort 22-year-old Evan James Fry as he enters Courtroom 6 at provincial court in St. John’s earlier this year.

She also considered Burton’s guilty plea to be a mitigating factor in his reduced sentence. Meanwhile, Fry’s trial featured 10 witnesses and used up considerable court resources.

Fry’s lawyer, Susan Day, argued a 30-month sentence would be more suitable. She said her client’s moral culpability was reduced due to his lack of presence in the room with Hillyard. She also noted there was no evidence of preplanning and that Fry had no criminal record at the time of the robbery (the convictions came later that year).

According to his lawyer, Fry has a Grade 9 education. He’s been addicted to opiates since the age of 18 and has completed addictions awareness courses at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s. He is currently at the West Coast Correctional Centre in Stephenville.

SEE RELATED:

‘Evan Fry convicted for armed robbery, break and enter’

‘Evan Fry verdict hinges on co-accused’s testimony in home invasion case’

'Burton sentenced to six years, four months for home invasion'

'Home invasion in Bay Roberts'

Asked if he had anything to tell the court, Fry said he was willing to take responsibility for his actions. He also offered an apology for anything that happened to the victim as a result of the incident.

Brazil will announce her decision Jan. 20, 2017.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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