Teen displayed no signs of emotion during sentencing



A. woo for/metro vancouver


Crystal, left, and Deborah Levy.


The teen who left Michael Levy a quadriplegic after striking him with an axe showed no signs of emotion yesterday as a judge sentenced him to nine and a half years in an adult prison yesterday.

Enrique Quintana, now 18, was one of three youths who attacked Levy at a high school dance in October 2006. Robert Alexander Green was given a three-year sentence at a youth detention centre for smashing a bottle over Levy’s head and Tuan "Tony" Minh Nguyen was given 20 months of house arrest for punching him.

Quintana will receive credit for the time he spent in jail awaiting sentencing, leaving eight years and three months to be served.

Levy, 19, did not attend yesterday’s sentencing.

"Enrique Quintana played the most significant role of the three offenders," said Judge Kenneth Ball. "Quintana wielded that axe. He hit Michael Levy repeatedly. The swinging of the axe caused the significant and life-diminishing injury that Levy suffered."

Prosecutor Michaela Donnelly had recommended a five- to six-year sentence, but Ball decided on nine and a half to reflect the seriousness of the offence. Ball added that it had nothing to do with the criticism he received from people who thought the sentences he gave the other teens were too lenient.

The Levy family was visibly pleased, proclaiming "Yes!" holding hands and sobbing as the judge read the sentence.

"It’s a sad thing all the way around for everybody — his family, our family — but this is for the rest of Michael’s life," said Michael’s mother Deborah. "So I think eight and a half years is not so bad. Maybe he’ll grow up, get counselling and become a better man."

She added that she was surprised at Quintana’s lack of emotion during sentencing. "If you can’t react to something like getting eight and a half years in jail for what you’ve done, then he needs to be where he is."