Killer Of Community Activist Gets Life Sentence

Posted: 04/17/2012 1:15 pm Updated: 04/19/2012 8:26 am


A 21-year-old man who killed Toronto community activist Kenneth Mark has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.


Lamar Skeete was sentenced Tuesday, just over two weeks after being convicted of the first-degree murder of Mark, who the Crown contended was killed because he broke a so-called code of silence.


In addition to his prison sentence, Skeete will be under a weapons prohibition for life. He will also be compelled to provide a DNA sample to the court.


Mark, 29, an activist known as a "gentle giant" in his west-end community, was gunned down in Dec. 2009 on Dundas Street near Runnymede Road.


Police said shortly after the killing that Mark had likely died because of anti-gang activism. During the trial the jury heard testimony that Mark was afraid of being labelled a snitch.


Meanwhile, the defence had argued there was not enough evidence to convict Skeete.


The victim’s mother, Maureen Mark, said the justice system had done its job in convicting Skeete for killing her son.


“We will never have the angel in the family again, but we are very, very, very happy — happy with the whole outcome,” she said outside court on Tuesday.


She said the judge “sent a very clear message to anyone who thinks they are above the law in this country.”


She vowed to return to court to speak for her son should Skeete seek parole one day.


“I’ll be there in front of him when he comes up for parole,” she said. “Parole? I don’t think so, I don’t think so.”


FOLLOW CANADA

Filed by Christian Cotroneo  |