A Canadian national was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in prison for his role in the drive-by shooting death of a 17-year-old Lake Forest youth who was gunned down through his bedroom window.
"I just want to apologize, that's all," Jason Paul Legare, 19, of Mission Viejo said before he was sentenced by Santa Ana Superior Court Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald. Legare pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in connection with the December, 1991, slaying of Bylan Hanna.
Legare drove the car from which Matthew Lloyd Conant, 19, also of Mission Viejo, opened fire at Bylan's silhouette as seen from the street, officials said. Conant also was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Carolyn Kirkwood asked Fitzgerald to impose the maximum sentence to send a message that anyone who assists in such a crime will be held as equally responsible as the shooter.
"Bylan would likely be alive today if it were not for Mr. Legare," she said. Kirkwood said the evidence showed that Legare was aware that a shooting was planned. The men had argued with Bylan at a party the previous day and fired into the home as retaliation.
Defense attorney Robert K. Weinberg said Legare was remorseful. Weinberg said outside of court that Legare lived in Orange County at the time of the shooting but now hopes to serve his sentence in his native country.
Before Legare was sentenced, Eugene Hanna, the victim's father, asked for the maximum penalty.
"I still don't understand this," Hanna said. "They took something away from me that can never be returned. I think (Legare) should be put away and never see daylight again."