A sentencing hearing is underway for two former Hamilton paramedics found guilty of failing to provide necessities for life when they responded to the shooting of 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi.
The crown is seeking a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for Christopher Marchant and Steven Snively, who were convicted by a Superior Court judge in June.
The couple responded to a 911 call near the Al-Hasnawi Mosque near Main and Sanford on December 2, 2017, after he was shot while coming to the aid of an older man who was being approached by two younger men. .
In his decision, Judge Harrison Arrell said the paramedics showed a “deviation” from the standards of care by not taking Al-Hasnawi’s injury seriously and delaying his transfer to the hospital.
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He also said that Marchant and Snively made “a conscious decision to ignore the obvious evidence before them” by taking him to St. Joseph Hospital instead of Hamilton General Hospital, the city’s main trauma hospital.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, crown attorney Linda Shin read statements on the victim’s impact from Al-Hasnawi’s mother, father, and younger brother, as well as a statement on the Center’s community impact. Islamic Al-Moustafa.
Amal Alzurufi, Yosif’s mother, wrote that she isolates herself from her other children so they don’t see her cry and described how it feels to lose a child.
“It feels like someone has ripped your heart out of your chest,” he wrote. “I always cry, I have constant pain. My heart broke.”
She called the paramedics’ actions that night “unprofessional” and said that while she doesn’t hate them, she is angry about what happened.
“I loved my son, and I wish he were here, and none of this happened.”
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Ahmed Al-Hasnawi, who witnessed the death of his older brother at the age of 13, wrote that his life has been “completely turned upside down” as a result of Yosif’s death.
“Honestly, I don’t remember being happy since he left.”
The maximum prison sentence for not providing what is necessary for life is five years.
Shin argued that Snively and Marchant should be sentenced to two and a half years each, citing their position as medical authorities who had the training and standards of care that set out what they were supposed to do.
“The steps required were simple, in this case: treat the injury as serious, leave immediately, take the patient to a trauma center. That is all.”
He added that paramedics are given “a lot of trust by the community” to care for citizens in times of need, and said the couple broke that public trust.
“They robbed Yosif of his only chance of survival and caused his death.”
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Snively and Marchant’s defense is asking for a suspended sentence of six to nine months, followed by a probationary period and 100 hours of community service.
Snively’s attorney, Michael DelGobbo, provided character testimony about the elderly paramedic during the latter part of the hearing on Monday.
He described Snively as a devoted family man and a hardworking and passionate paramedic since his career began in 2005, and his wife referred to him as “a person who is addicted to his work and never expected any of this to happen.”
The hearing will continue on Tuesday and will hear from Marchant’s attorney.
Judge Arrell has indicated that he will reserve his decision for a later date.
The gunman who shot Al-Hasnawi was found not guilty of second-degree murder by a jury in November 2019, but the crown is appealing that verdict.
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