Teenage girl accused in fatal swarming incident set to enter not guilty plea for second-degree murder

Posted on

One of the eight teenage girls accused in the fatal swarming of Ken Lee has confirmed she will plead not guilty to second-degree murder. Initially scheduled to enter a plea earlier in the week, it was unclear which charge she would address, but she has now decided to contest the murder charge in Superior Court.

Earlier this month, three of her co-accused pleaded guilty: two to manslaughter and one to assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. Four others have indicated their intention to defend against the murder charge in a trial before a judge and jury.

Ken Lee, a homeless man, was brutally beaten and stabbed to death on December 18, 2022. The incident cannot name any of the teens due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

According to an agreed statement of facts presented during the guilty pleas, a group of girls, aged 13 to 16, gathered at Yorkdale subway station on December 17, 2022. They later moved to a parkette at University Ave. and Front St., where one of the teens admitted stealing alcohol from Lee’s female friend. The statement indicated that Lee, 59, intervened after telling the girls to leave the woman alone, resulting in a three-minute and twenty-second swarming. Crown attorney Mary Humphrey reported that a witness from the nearby Strathcona Hotel shelter heard screams and intervened, likening Lee’s attackers to “a bunch of wolves on top of a piece of meat.”

An autopsy revealed that Lee sustained 19 blunt force trauma wounds to various parts of his body and died from a stab wound to the heart.

The five girls planning to contest the second-degree murder charge are scheduled to appear in court on July 3rd.