Man sentenced in 2021 homicide

Homicide scene in 900 block of Confederation Street Jan. 10, 2021 (BlackburnNews.com photo by Dave Dentinger)

A man who pleaded guilty in late March to manslaughter has been sentenced to 22 months time served followed by three years probation.

Timothy Noj, 34, was initially charged with second degree murder in the death of Luis Enrique Hernandez, 26, of Sarnia, last January.

Police responded to a residence, in a row house complex in the area of Confederation Street and Indian Road, at about 5:30 p.m. on January 9, 2021.

An injured man in need of medical attention was rushed to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Police launched a homicide investigation, the first of four in January 2021, leading to the arrest of Noj a few days later.

When delivering the sentence, Justice Mark Hornblower detailed the drug abuse of both men that “put the two on a collision course that resulted in the death of Luis Hernandez.”

Hornblower said in addition to the substance abuse, Noj had behavioral issues that partly stemmed from the culture he lost after being given up by his Indigenous mother at a young age.

Justice Hornblower acknowledged Noj’s guilty plea and highlighted 14 initiatives he has taken toward his rehabilitation in a period of eight months.

They included earning his Ontario secondary school diploma, meeting with representatives of the Canadian Mental Health Association and attending the Hamilton Regional Native Centre, where he is taking conscious steps to learn to be a more nurturing, caring and better man.

“I have been on the bench since 1999,” said Hornblower. “I have heard more promises made toward rehabilitation than actually kept and I have seen more people fail in their efforts at rehabilitation than I have seen succeed. I have rarely, if ever, seen a person so committed to their rehabilitation, who has undertaken, and achieved, so many positive results through their participation in so many initiatives.”

Justice Hornblower said the steps Noj has taken and his commitment to continue his healing journey factored into his decision.

“Mr. Noj, in speaking to the court and the family of Luis Hernandez, has expressed his profound regret for his actions, his remorse… and has spoken to his awareness of the harm caused.”

Justice Hornblower said Noj was in custody for the equivalent of 22 months, has been under significant restrictions since his release, and has abided by them.

“I acknowledge that this sentence [22 months time served followed by a period of probation] is at the low end of the range, but I do not believe that there could be any societal benefit to any additional period of incarceration.”

Justice Hornblower said Noj has secured full-time work in Hamilton and repaired his relationship with his adoptive parents.

“While his conditions were restrictive, they did not affect his ability to find and maintain work, seek out counselling and take firm steps on the road to rehabilitation.”

Noj has been ordered not to contact members of the Hernandez family.

He’s banned from visiting Lambton County, unless he has written permission of his probation officer and is accompanied by his parents at all times.

Noj is banned from the purchase or possession of drugs, unless he has a valid prescription in his name, drug paraphernalia, alcohol and weapons.

He must also submit DNA to the national offenders’ databank.