(Editor's note: Sean Haverty was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter on Friday night in the killing of Christopher Schweitzer. The following letter was received from Schweitzer's sister Karen Thompson on Saturday morning in response to a request for comment. It has been reprinted in its entirety.)
"This morning I’m writing to you, it is the day after the verdict. You want to know how Chris Schweitzer’s family is reacting. I can not put into words how upset and how traumatic this had been for us. My parents have lost there son, I have lost my brother and my children have lost there only uncle. There was absolutely no reason for this to have happen. My brother’s life was worth something maybe not to the jury but it sure was to us. Our lives will never be the same. I can not comprehend how it is ok for one person to take a loaded gun to someone else’s home and we are to accept that it is ok. How someone can go to someone home more than once to threaten them fist with a knife and that be ok. Guelph is not the same home that I grew up in and felt safe in. I feel as a society were accepting thing that we should not. WE all should feel safe here. WE should all feel safe in our own home. If our justice system is accepting that this is ok then it sure needs to change.
Mr. Haverty took my brother from me. He will always be a cold blooded killer. To use the excuse of being drunk come on. You chose to drink, you chose to load a gun, you chose to walk to my brother’s home, you chose to shoot him, you chose to hide the gun and you chose to go to the hospital in your car and drove yourself. It makes me sick to think that this was a defence. We all need to make sure we are drunk when we do a horrendous crime that way it is acceptable. THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!!
I am going to tell you a little about the Chris Schweitzer we knew. Chris was my mom’s best friend they talked on the phone most days. He cared for her deeply and always wanted to know how her day was. He would walk over to my parent’s house a few times a week with the dogs to visit. Chris loved his animals. He love to talk about music he was always recording CD’s for people and had made one for our dad just before he was (killed). The on thing I found in his home while emptying it after he died. It of course was county songs that Chris new my father loved. Chris had a heart of gold and always found that special gift that he new you would love. Chris lived with my family for many years we had a home with an apartment in it where him and missy stayed. He was very close to his two nephews Derek and Aaron. Chris was 13 when Derek was born and they were buddies right from the day I brought him home. Chris couldn’t get enough of him. Then came Aaron and he sure kept Chris moving. Chris always said he got tired just looking at him because he never slowed down. Chris used to love being with the kids they were his pride and joy. He loved to play Santa and the Easter bunny with us and took such pride it his two boys. God we will miss him.
Now for me I have lost my little brother. I still cry everyday. I have had to be strong for my parent, my children and for missy. I haven’t even had time to grieve myself. In a short time I had to plan a funeral, had missy move in with us, clean and empty my brothers home, dealt with police, victim services and the courts while trying to keep my sanity. I no longer feel safe in this city that I once loved. Now I can’t wait to move, to get as far away from Guelph as I can. This is not the city I use to love.
The verdict was a kick in the throat. I could have accepted second degree but manslaughter I will never accept. To think he will be out in society again scares me. It scares me even more that he could be out soon.