20 May 2024

Glenn Walewicz's killer gets 13 years' jail for shooting him 'without knowing who he was'

| Albert McKnight

Glenn Walewicz was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity. Photo: ACT Policing.

A drug-using teenager who was trying to perform a late-night home invasion when he fired the gun that killed an unsuspecting and innocent man inside his home will spend the rest of the decade in prison.

The now-20-year-old, who legally can’t be named due to his age at the time of the killing, was convicted of 48-year-old Glenn Walewicz’s murder and sentenced to 13 years’ jail by the ACT Supreme Court on Monday (20 May).

The sentence will be suspended after seven years and nine months, meaning he will be released in March 2030.

“It is clear the grief and loss of the members of Mr Walewicz’s family has been increased by the fact the murder was a terrible mistake,” Justice David Mossop said, also describing it as “a tragic case of mistaken identity”.

In 2021, the murderer was 17 years old and had developed a close relationship with then-37-year-old Nicole Williams.

Nicole and her son Jayden Douglas Williams began organising a home invasion to target two drug dealers. They roped in the murderer, Gary Taylor, and a younger boy to carry it out.

Meanwhile, a different person had left a pump-action rifle at her house, which she held onto because she wanted to sell it.

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On 10 June 2021, Nicole told the trio to “run through” the dealers’ home and steal their drugs and money, then gave the rifle to the murderer, warning that one of the dealers may have a gun himself and may try to shoot at them.

Getaway driver Reatile Ncube drove them to Phillip, but the trio went to the wrong house and ended up knocking on Mr Walewicz’s door in Mansfield Place.

Upon hearing them outside, Mr Walewicz called out, “Who is it?” The murderer said, “Open up”, before approaching the door with the rifle raised and then firing a shot, which went into the home and hit Mr Walewicz in the neck and chest.

Closed-circuit television footage captured the intruders outside Glenn Walewicz’s door on 10 June 2021, including the 17-year-old firing the fatal shot. Image: Screenshot.

He fell over inside his home and was later pronounced dead at hospital. But after firing that fatal shot, the murderer reloaded by pumping his rifle again before saying, “What do we do?”

“Run,” Taylor said.

The trio fled and were driven to Nicole’s house by Ncube. “I f-ed up, I shouldn’t have shot him,” the murderer said later.

Justice Mossop said Mr Walewicz’s mother had suffered “profound” loss and her grief had been “overwhelming”.

“Understandably, she has so many questions. In particular, why,” he said.

Mr Walewicz’s wife of 20 years, whom he had been separated from at the time of his death, said her heart was broken and she had a “feeling of rage” inside her.

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Justice Mossop said the murderer fired “without even knowing who he [Mr Walewicz] was”, although his decision seemed to have been spur-of-the-moment. However, he rejected the defence lawyer’s submission that the gun had been fired because their client “panicked”.

He did say the murderer’s relationship with Nicole had given her significant influence over him.

The murderer had experienced childhood dysfunction, including domestic violence and bullying, then began using cannabis and methamphetamine after he turned 14.

A psychiatrist believed he had post-traumatic stress disorder, and antisocial and borderline personality disorders at the time. He thought the murderer remained a high risk to the community.

The murderer sat through his sentencing with his head hung low and did not give any visible reaction when learning how long he would spend in jail. He glanced at his supporters when he was led out of the courtroom before one of them broke down in tears.

From left, Jayden Douglas Williams, Gary Taylor and Reatile Ncube have all admitted to their involvement in the death of Glenn Walewicz. Photos: Facebook, Albert McKnight.

His sentence was backdated to account for the time he has spent in custody, as he was arrested in June 2022 before he pleaded guilty to murder.

When he is released, he must sign a good behaviour order requiring him to be on probation, supervised by the director-general.

Taylor was sentenced to 10 years in jail for his role in the shooting, while charges against the younger boy were dropped.

Nicole admitted helping the gunman and court documents reveal the extent of her role in organising the crime. She is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

Ncube was the first of the group to be sentenced, while Jayden was handed a suspended sentence with time served.

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