A teenager who was subjected to frequent tongue-lashings by his mother over school, chores and his girlfriend has been found guilty of first-degree murder in her shooting death last year.

Members of Michelle Barnoski’s family gasped and sobbed as the verdict, reached by the jury after deliberating just a few hours, was announced in Peterborough court yesterday.

The teen, who was 14 when his mother was shot eight times in the head and neck, stood quietly in the courtroom while Barnoski’s two sisters hugged each other.

“Wow, he really did it,” younger sister Nina Pelletier told reporters. “I mean I believe it, I knew it.”

Her former longtime partner Marc Vickers, 36, who lived with Barnoski and her son, is also charged with first-degree murder in the case. He is awaiting trial.

During the five-week trial, Pelletier and Barnoski’s other sister, Lisa Epstein, testified that after his arrest, her nephew confessed to shooting his mother during an argument. The jury also heard that he called her a “crack whore” and drug dealer who had abandoned him.

The teen, who is now 16, cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The boy will be sentenced next year.