A Binbrook, Ont., resident convicted of fatally shooting a Six Nations man almost seven years ago has been given an eight-year sentence by an Ontario judge.
Peter Khill returned to a Hamilton court after being found guilty by a jury last year of manslaughter in the February 2016 death of Jonathan Styres.
Justice Andrew Goodman delivered his sentence to a courtroom packed with members of Styres’ and Khill’s families.
Goodman suggested the sentence cannot bring Styres back — but hoped his family and community can feel “some sense of closure” with his ruling.
Previously found not guilty of second-degree murder in 2018, Khill faced a second trial last December following an order from Ontario’s Court of Appeal.
Khill unsuccessfully challenged that trial in 2020.
The sentencing took two days in total, with the first part on April 12 and the conclusion Tuesday.
Goodman heard from Khill, the Crown, defence counsel and five in-person victim impact statements, including an emotional address from Styres’ partner at the time.
In the April session, Lindsay Hill, the mother of Styres’ two young daughters, characterized his death via a pair of gunshots as “completely heartbreaking” and “a blatant disregard for life.”
“My life has and will continue to be affected,” Hill told the court.
“Every birthday, every holiday is like a punch in the gut and brings back the extreme loss that I have endured.”
Counsel Jeff Manishen responded with 57 character reference submissions on behalf of Khill, including one from wife Melinda Khill, insisting her spouse was “selfless” with a “heart of gold.”
Joan Khill, Peter’s mother, described a life “growing up with financial hardship” for her son, adding that his two trials have resulted in “unimaginable” stress for the 33-year-old.
Khill spoke later in the hearing and said he was “forever sorry” for his part in the incident.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about John Styres and his family,” said Khill.
“John and I share one very important similarity: we’re the fathers of two little girls.”
The Crown had been asking for 10 years as punishment, while Manishen suggested four years.
Under the terms of the sentence, Khill will serve his time in a federal penitentiary, provide a DNA sample, be prohibited from owning firearms or any ammo or restricted weapons for 10 years and be forbidden contact with Styres’ family.
Cahill’s lawyer says his client will appeal the eight-year sentence and that a bail application has already been filed.
The mother of Styres’ seven and nine-year-old daughters, Hill, told reporters outside a Hamilton court she was “tired and exhausted” going through the process.
“There’s a little bit of comfort in knowing that … it’s going to be eight years,” she said.
“But again, it just feels like a drop in the bucket.”
Hill says she doesn’t believe the matter is over amid Cahill’s potential appeal.
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