MANDEL: Mom relieved her 14-year-old son’s killer pleaded guilty

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Devan Selvey was only 14 when he died in his mother’s arms, stabbed in the back behind his Hamilton high school by another teen he didn’t even know.

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Two years later and just before his trial was set to begin, his killer, now 16 and his name protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

“My mom is relieved about the guilty plea,” the boy’s sister, Karissa Selvey, told the Toronto Sun. “We both feel some sort of justice is being served because of it.

“We are also a bit angry that he held out and waited to admit guilt and to confess,” she said. “Overall, it was a shock, but finally something good coming out the court; we wish it was done sooner so we didn’t have to be dragged through pre-trial and all the pain being reopened.”

The agreed statement of facts read into court this week offered a frightening glimpse into a world of bullying and violence where teens are armed with knives, bear spray, and expandable batons.

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And where children kill children.

His sister has described Devan as a great kid — shy and quiet with dreams of becoming a mechanic.

He’d just started Grade 9 at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and on the second day of classes, Devan and two of his friends were confronted by several youths outside school property who threatened to harm them unless Devan gave up his expensive bike.

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According to his mom, it would be the beginning of endless bullying and harassment.

On Oct. 7, 2019, Devan thought he recognized one of the bike thiefs in a group smoking outside the nearby Pat Quinn arena. He texted his sister and then his friend’s mom: “Hey um kid who toke (sic) my bike is here and I’m trying my best not to lose my sh-t can you tell my mom please.”

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By 12:50 p.m. Shari-Ann Selvey pulled up in her gold Ford SUV. The father of Devan’s best friend arrived as well and decided to confront the group of kids about the stolen bike.

Despite his mother warning him away, Devan followed.

All five teens denied being involved and in the ensuing argument, one of them suddenly pulled out a bottle of bear mace. Everyone ran while the injured dad raced to the school to flood his eyes with water.

Selvey made a U-turn in her SUV and went to search for her son.

Devan was following the teens who had denied stealing his bike. His mom begged him to get into her car, but he continued running after the other boys. And toward disaster.

She tried so many times to save him.

Selvey caught up to her son again and told him to get in. Devan looked like he was going to listen this time, but then turned and ran after two of the teens, including the one who’d sprayed the mace.

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The three were yelling at each other when one of the boys used an extendable baton to get Devan to “back off,” which he did. A girl joined the fray, threw her water bottle at him, and challenged him to hit her.

“Devan said he would not because he wasn’t raised that way,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the accused 14-year-old killer was on his way to meet his brother at the arena but stopped at a convenience store for lunch. On his way out, another youth robbed him of his gold necklace. He tried calling his brother for help, but he didn’t answer.

He’d been in the middle of the altercation, spraying bear mace.

As the murderer approached the school, his brother finally answered and must have filled him in on what was happening.

“Believing his brother was in some form of danger, (he) dropped his shoes, which he was carrying in one hand, dropped his backpack, and removed the knife from his waistband with his right hand,” court heard. “(He) approached Devan from behind, stabbing him once in his right upper back.

“Devan did not see or hear (his killer) as he approached from behind.”

His mom saw — but it was too late. Moments later, her boy was gone.

mmandel@postmedia.com

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