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Girl pleads guilty to manslaughter in ‘swarming’ killing of Toronto homeless man |



A teen girl charged in the 2022 death of a Toronto homeless man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

She was one of eight teen girls who had initially been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 59-year-old Ken Lee and on Thursday, she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

The teen was 13 years old at the time of the killing; she is now 15.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the maximum sentence for manslaughter is three years in custody, though the Crown can apply for a youth to be sentenced as an adult, in which case the maximum penalty is life in prison.

The teen remains in custody and will be back in court in July for sentencing proceedings.

Prior to entering the plea Thursday, the girl sat in the prisoner’s box smiling at her mother in the body of the courtroom, with her hair parted in the middle, with a slim French braid down either side, tied back in a ponytail.

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Police previously said Lee, who was homeless at the time of his death, was allegedly attacked by eight teen girls in the York Street and University Avenue area in a “swarming” incident. Emergency crews were called to the scene around 12:17 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2022.

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It happened outside of a designated COVID homeless shelter.

Three 13-year-old girls, three 14-year-old girls and two 16-year-old girls were charged with second-degree murder in his death. They can’t be identified due to a provision in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

A judge recently committed six of the teens to stand trial on second-degree murder and two on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The Canadian Press reports that in addition to the girl who pled guilty Thursday, another one of the teens is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter in a court appearance on June 24.

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Three other teens are also expected to plead guilty, though it is not clear on what charges.

The remaining three are expected to stand trial in Superior Court. A trial date has not yet been set.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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