The Toronto Sun reports that accused killer, Eric Talbot, wept tears of joy when he was found not guilty for the murder of Francesco Molinaro.
Talbot yelled “I’m free”, as he walked outside the courthouse with his arm firmly gripped around his father.
In prison since the age of 19, Justice Laura Bird recommended that he reflect on his actions and time spent in prison saying “You were given a second chance that Mr. Molinaro will never have, I hope you reflect on your behaviour that night.”
The murder of Francesco Molinaro
Throughout Talbot’s trial, there was little doubt that Talbot and his two friends were actively involved, and took part in a street fight in Wasaga Beach on May 21st, 2016. The three-on-one attack would ultimately lead to the death of Francesco Molinaro, who was only 18.
Crown Mike Flosman informed the jury that the men ran into each other and there was absolutely no reason for the attack and eventual death to have occurred.
During the attack, not only was Molinaro outnumbered, he was held and restrained by Talbot, unable to defend himself as Landsberg stabbed him repeatedly. Commenting on the event’s shrewd barbarity, Flosman said: “It’s confounding – It defies reason”.
He urged the jury to find Talbot equally responsible, as his actions contributed to Molinaro’s murder.
The victim, who was from Caledon, suffered broken rib bones and punctured lungs from the stabbing.
Onlookers and bystanders were watching the attack, with many filming it on their phones. They were cheering and felt excited about the prospect of observing a street fight. Little did they know, however, they were witnessing a murder.
Other culprits plead guilty
Last week, Landsberg, then 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole for ten years.
Austin Zambrano-Peterson, then 18, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last July and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Parents speak out against court result
Molinaro’s parents were understandably emotional and severely upset with the trial’s outcome.
“The loss of a child is crippling,” said the father of Francesco, Ernie Molinaro. “My soul has been ripped out of my chest”.
Throughout the trial, whenever a video of the murder would play, the father would leave the courtroom, unable to control his deep anger and sadness.