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Teen admits in court to carrying out C.P. Allen High School stabbings

Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, N.S., was placed in a hold and secure during the incident on March 20, 2023. (Brian MacKay/CBC - image credit)
Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, N.S., was placed in a hold and secure during the incident on March 20, 2023. (Brian MacKay/CBC - image credit)

A 16-year-old boy has admitted to wounding two staff members in a knife attack at the Halifax-area high school last year.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault in court in Halifax on Monday.

The teen, whose identity is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, spoke to the judge to confirm he understood what he was admitting to and the range of sentence he could face.

He is facing other charges, including two counts of attempted murder, which have been adjourned until the sentencing. The Crown expects they will be dismissed.

An agreed statement of fact entered in court gives insight into the events surrounding the knife attack on March 20, 2023 at Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, N.S.

The teen, who was a student at the school, had been asked to visit the office after he was identified on video as the person who had put up a series of unauthorized posters, the statement of fact says.

A staff member and the teen were discussing what disciplinary action he could face, including suspension or expulsion, when a comment the teen made caught the staff member off guard.

Screams for help

According to the agreed statement of fact, the staff member recalls the teen saying something to the effect of, "My life is over, so it's just as well to do this."

The statement goes on to say the staff member noticed the teen had taken a knife out of his bag and opened the blade.

"I had nowhere to go," the statement said, quoting the staff member. "Trying to avoid the knife I pushed him back. Tried to get around him to get through the door, but as I passed by him, I assume it was at that time he stabbed me, twice, once between the shoulder blades and once in my side."

He fended off the teen and screamed for help, drawing the attention of a school administrator.

Teen had 4 knives, according to statement of fact

The teen ran from the office, pushing past the administrator and stabbing her as he went by.

He then ran from the building to a small grassy area outside the school where he cut his own neck with a knife, the agreed statement of fact says.

He was then arrested by police and taken to hospital for treatment.

The school administrator was also taken to hospital after sustaining a stab wound to the back, and the other staff member had to undergo surgery to treat his injuries.

The teen had four knives in total, either on his person or in his bag.

He was initially also facing two charges of attempted murder, mischief and a number of weapons offences.

"The other counts are being dismissed as part of a reasonable reflection of the counts and the Criminal Code of what happened," said Crown lawyer Jamie Van Wart.

"You can express that wrongdoing by a number of sections in the Criminal Code, but it doesn't necessitate that somebody plead guilty to every various version of offences that could attach to those facts."

Crown lawyer Jamie Van Wart said the teenager has pleaded guilty to serious offences and the other matters are incorporated into the facts and will form part of the sentencing.
Crown lawyer Jamie Van Wart said the teenager has pleaded guilty to serious offences and the other matters are incorporated into the facts and will form part of the sentencing.

Crown lawyer Jamie Van Wart said the teenager has pleaded guilty to serious offences and the other matters are incorporated into the facts and will form part of the sentencing. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Van Wart said those charges will be "disposed of" after sentencing.

A sentencing date has been set for July, and the Crown said it's possible the teen could be sentenced as an adult.

Judge Elizabeth Buckle said at a previous hearing that actions by Halifax Regional Police could be taken into consideration at sentencing.

Buckle ruled the teen's Charter rights were breached because police failed to disclose they were making audio recordings of the teen following his arrest.

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