Statement on Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in the Jonathan Styres Case
Six Nations of the Grand River is pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision to order a new trial in the case of Peter Khill, who shot and killed Jonathan Styres, a young Haudenosaunee man and a Six Nations Band Member.
Mr. Styres died in February 2016, and Peter Khill was acquitted of second-degree murder in June 2018. The decision was appealed by the Crown, and the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the not-guilty verdict and ordered a new trial.
Our people deserve a justice system that functions well and serves all people with equity, a system in which we can place our trust. This case has been dragging on for over five years, and our community continues to extend our support to the family members of Jonathan Styres, who are also members of Six Nations.
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is an encouraging step towards a more comprehensive resolution of the case, so that the truth may be known and justice may be achieved. It is our hope that this new trial will be fair, focus on accountability, and pursue the truth.
Below is a statement from Lindsay Hill, Jonathan Styres’ partner and mother of their two daughters:
“I am grateful that the decision to order a new trial was upheld by the Supreme Court. A new trial for Jon’s killer means new hope that Jon will get the justice he deserves. This news is bittersweet though. The last 5 and a half years have been an extremely difficult, emotional rollercoaster for my children and I. We think of Jon every day and we miss him every day. The Supreme Court’s decision brings to the forefront the problem with the acquittal, the jury system and highlights the complexities of ensuring that juries are fair and given the proper information to effectively assist them. Indigenous people are all too familiar with the problems in the judicial system, in a time when it seems many in Canada are just starting to realize the systemic barriers that Indigenous people have faced, past and present. We await the court to set both the criminal and civil court dates.”
Six Nations will continue to follow this case closely as we demand justice for Jonathan Styres and an equitable justice system worthy of our people’s trust.