The “thrill-seeking” teen who ended up a quadriplegic in a bizarre vehicle crash that caused the death of a police officer was found guilty of first-degree murder Thursday.
The teen, who was 15 at the time, was pulled over by Const. Garrett Styles along Highway 48 in Newmarket on the morning of June 28, 2011.
Styles was dragged approximately 300 metres along the highway after the van the teen was driving accelerated and crashed, pinning the officer underneath.
In April, the court heard that Styles had attempted to reach in to the van to unbuckle the teen’s seatbelt before the youth hit the gas pedal.
Styles was able to radio for help and was rushed to hospital but later died from his injuries.
Styles was the father of two small children. He had been on the force for seven years and had recently passed an exam to become a sergeant.
In a statement released Thursday night, the Styles family said they continued “to mourn the loss of a much-loved son, husband, father and brother.”
“All we ever wanted was for the accused to be held accountable for his actions which cost Garrett his life,” Syles’ wife Melissa said.
“We are pleased with the outcome in this trial. This serves as a reminder to all that there are consequences to the choices you make.”
“We are relieved the accused in this case has been held responsible for his crime,” Styles’ father, retired YRP Staff Sgt. Garry Styles, said.
York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said that Styles’ death continues to have a profound effect on the department, as well as the community.
“His loss is still felt every day across our organization,” he said.
The release also thanked the members of the jury for their work, as well as friends, family, the policing community and the public for their support.
The teen, who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was paralyzed in the collision and is now in a wheelchair.
A sentencing date is expected to be set July 27.