It was an emotional day for a family who has been waiting for closure for over two years. 20 year old Vavadean Spence was sentenced today to 4 years in prison for his roll in a violent Hamilton home invasion that forever changed a young man’s life.
Vavadean Spence was 18 years old, when he and 4 other young men, two of them minors, entered Devin Howard’s Eastbourne avenue home in January of 2015 and stole electronics. If the incident had ended there, Devin Howard’s mom says that would be the least of their problems, but it didn’t.
“They shot his arm, he lost a big chunk of his left arm. Then they shot him a second time in his left leg and he lost a piece of his leg.”
The injuries were so severe that Devin had to relearn how to walk. Prospects of playing college baseball in the U.S. ended, as did his hope of becoming an electrician.
Spence was found guilty of robbery while using a firearm and aggravated assault among other charges this past summer. Robbery while using a firearm carries a minimum 4 year sentence. The defence asked that the minimum sentence be reduced, but the judge denied that request.
Although two of the boys who participated in the crime and Devin Howard himself, identified Spence as the one who pulled the trigger, the judge says the crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Spence was indeed the shooter.
Spence addressed Devin and his mom and through tears told them that he is truly sorry for what he did. Spence is the only one of the group to stand trial, as the others pleaded guilty to break and enter and robbery and received much lesser sentences, ranging from 3 to 13 months.
With all the court matters behind them, the Howards say they will hopefully begin to heal.