Friends of Sudbury murder victim angry (update)

They plan protest on Thursday when accused makes court appearance, saying 'all this stupidity and violence has to stop'

Preston Pellerin. Supplied jpeg, SU

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The young man accused in Friday’s fatal stabbing near the downtown bus terminal made a brief court appearance on Monday.

Steffin Rees, 18, is charged with second-degree murder, as well as possession of methamphetamine.

The accused showed little emotion during the bail court appearance. He was clean-shaven and clad in a white T-shirt and grey track pants.

Rees remains in custody and will appear in video bail court on Thursday. Meanwhile, he is forbidden from making contact with 33 individuals.

Greater Sudbury Police said officers responded around 10:30 a.m. Friday regarding a weapons complaint on Cedar Street.

“Upon arrival patrol officers found a 17-year-old male who required immediate medical attention,” police said. “He was taken to Health Sciences North, where he succumbed to his injuries.”

The Star has learned the victim is Preston Pellerin. According to his Facebook profile, Pellerin is originally from Yellowknife, but had been living in Sudbury.

Friend Tanya told The Star she got to know Pellerin a few years ago and they would meet up often at the downtown Tim Hortons, along with other friends.

“We consider him part of our street family,” she said. “Most of us are thinking we’re still going to see him when we go downtown but now he’s not going to be there. His spirit is still down here, but he is not.”

Tanya said Pellerin was “super kind” and had a “big heart.” He would play tag with her young daughter, she said, and “was always making her laugh when she was sad.”

He was also musically inclined, she said, and would “make his own melodies and beats.”

Pellerin survived a battle with leukemia as a child, she said, and had recently gone back to school to finish his high school diploma.

Tanya and other friends are planning a protest on Thursday outside the courthouse to make the point that “all this stupidity and violence has to stop,” she said.

They also plan to honour their late friend at a memorial on Nov. 27.

A funeral is also scheduled for this weekend. The family of Pellerin will receive relatives and friends on Friday, at the Cooperative Funeral Home on Lasalle Boulevard, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A celebration of life will be held Saturday at 11 a.m.

Police said they located and arrested the accused on Saturday morning.

“Information to date confirms this incident was not a random act of violence,” the police service said. “It was a dispute between two individuals who knew each other.”

The homicide appears to be the second to occur in Greater Sudbury this year.

David Leon Stefanczuk, 39, was charged with manslaughter in May in an opioid overdose death. He allegedly supplied the drug.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca