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Verdict expected in trial of 2 former Hamilton medics accused in teen’s death

yosif al hasnawi

An Ontario Superior Court judge is expected to render his verdict today in the trial of two former Hamilton paramedics accused of not properly caring for a teenager who was shot and died.

Steven Snively, 55, and Christopher Marchant, 32, have been charged with failing to provide Yosif Al-Hasnawi the necessaries of life. 

Al-Hasnawi, 19, was in Hamilton’s lower city on the night of Dec. 2, 2017, when he was shot in the abdomen. 

The court heard the paramedics believed the teen had been shot with a BB or pellet gun. They were wrong. Al-Hasnawi was shot with a .22-calibre handgun, and the hollow-point bullet pierced an artery and vein. 

It took paramedics 23 minutes to leave the scene at Main and Sanford that night, the court heard. The teen was shot at 8:55 p.m. ET, and was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital about an hour later. 

Defence has argued mistakes non-criminal

Justice Harrison Arrell presides over the judge-alone trial, which started in November 2020. His decision is expected around 10 a.m. on Tuesday. 

Crown attorneys Scott Patterson and Linda Shin argue the paramedics ignored their training and departed from provincial standards. In closing arguments, they called the medical care the pair provided “grossly negligent.”

But the defence says the paramedics were following unconscious biases that night, which led them astray in treating Al-Hasnawi. 

They also say that while some of the paramedics’ actions may have been mistakes, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were criminally responsible.

Both of the accused testified on their own behalf and said they thought Al-Hasnawi was experiencing a psychiatric emergency. 

Jeffrey Manishen of Hamilton represents Marchant and Michael DelGobbo of St. Catharines represents Snively. 

Other witnesses who testified included medical experts, dispatchers and first responders — firefighters and police officers — as well as bystanders, including Al-Hasnawi’s family members, who were there that night.

Al-Hasnawi was outside a Main Street E. mosque on Dec. 2 with one of his brothers and others. 

He’s been referred to as a Good Samaritan because the shooting happened after he intervened when he saw two people accost an older man. 

Dale King, the man who shot Al-Hasnawi, was acquitted last year of second-degree murder. That decision is being appealed.

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