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HomeNewsFenelon Falls man pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of his father

Fenelon Falls man pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of his father

KAWARTHA LAKES-In sentencing Gregory Livingstone, Judge Michelle Fuerst said it was “important to denounce the morally reprehensible behaviour” that caused the death of 75 year old John Livingstone on December 9th 2017.

Gregory Livingstone admitted his actions lead to the death of his father and plead guilty to manslaughter in a Lindsay courtroom today.

Livingstone was charged with first degree murder and arson-disregard for human life on December 9th 2017. Firefighters were called to a home on Oak Street in Fenelon Falls at about 9:30 p.m. and found the house fully engulfed in flames. Once the fire was extinguished the lifeless body of 75 year old John Livingstone was found in the debris.

An agreed statement of fact presented in court laid out the details of what led to the fire and death of the 75 year old.

On the evening of December 9th Gregory and his father had an fight. The younger Livingston was abusing drugs and alcohol and that created tension between him and his father. Neighbours told police they could hear the argument coming from the back yard of the Livingston home at approximately 7pm. They could hear swearing and banging.

At 9:30 pm neighbours reported seeing the fire and called 911.

Deputy Fire Chief Ron Raymer said the fire was very intense and they had difficulty putting it down. In a post fire examination the Office of the Fire Marshall Investigator,  William Hay stated that the point of origin of the fire appeared to be the centre of the back room behind the kitchen of the house. At this point he said he was unable to determine a cause. Some time later Hay released a report saying the fire was deliberately set in the landing area of the stairway leading into the basement. After reviewing the evidence again Hay released another report saying he was unable to determine the cause.

This is what lead to the plea deal. Judge Fuerst said ” Due to contradictory and questionable reports from the Fire Marshall, Livingstone may not have been found guilty of any offence at trial.”

As part of the plea deal Livingstone admitted that before the fire he was angry and yelling, but said he was not yelling at his father. He was angry after having found out his ex-girlfriend had thrown out some of his son’s hockey jerseys and decided to hang himself in the garage. Livingstone says as he was on his way out to the garage when he flicked his cigarette into the back room behind the kitchen. During the investigation police found an electrical cord tied in a loose knot with a noose, hanging in the garage.

The Kawartha Lakes Fire Department located the body of John Livingstone in an upstairs bedroom. A post-mortem determined he had died of smoke inhalation.

The Crown Attorney had asked for a five year jail term. The Defense 3 years.

Judge Fuerst sentenced Livingstone to 3 years in jail with 23 months credit for time served. He will also be on probation for 18 months and was put on a lifetime prohibition from owning guns and ordered to submit DNA. “By his actions he deprived his uncles and his children of the love of their brother and grandfather.” she said.

She also took into account Livingstone’s guilt, his plea and the fact that he had no prior criminal record.

There were no victim impact statements presented.

Read other stories about this here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2018/09/10/accused-murderer-withdraws-bail-application-in-lindsay-court/

https://www.kawartha411.ca/2017/12/14/accused-in-fatal-fire-in-fenelon-falls-appears-in-court/

https://www.kawartha411.ca/2017/12/14/accused-in-fatal-fire-in-fenelon-falls-appears-in-court/

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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