The day after 1,000 people attended a memorial service in Mill Bay in honour of a 20-year-old Shawnigan Lake man, his family and friends sat in stunned disbelief as the man charged with Tyler Noble's death was granted bail.
Provincial court Judge L.W. Smith granted 24-year-old Brandon Huth's release from jail Monday after he spent 10 days behind bars following his Nov. 26 arrest. The accused, a Victoria resident, faces a manslaughter charge after Noble died following a fight in downtown Victoria.
Noble's family and friends say Huth should have been kept behind bars.
"It's all we have," said Noble's uncle, Saanich resident Ron Miller, adding that he was "shocked" at the judge's decision.
"What kind of message do you send when someone can basically walk free on the streets?" he said. "If you walk around throwing punches, there's consequences for your actions. Accountability, basically."
"I just want to see justice. I just don't want this to happen to another family."
Much of what was heard in court Monday is under a publication ban.
Victoria police say Huth turned himself in at the department the morning of Nov. 26, four hours after he allegedly assaulted Noble at 2:30 a.m. outside McDonald's restaurant, at the corner of Douglas and View streets. Noble was hit, and fell to the sidewalk. He died later that day at Victoria General Hospital.
Huth, wearing a grey pinstriped shirt, appeared in court in person for the first time. He sat in the prisoner's box leaning forward, often looking at the floor, but occasionally looking at Judge Smith, his lawyer Peter Firestone and Crown counsellor Tim Stokes.
Judge Smith ordered that Huth could only be released on a $10,000 surety, put up by Huth's father. He must stay away from liquor establishments, and not have contact with 16 people, as well as be home nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. Huth will be living on his own at a new address in Victoria.
"He'll be home for Christmas opening up presents," said Mike Tytula, a friend of the Noble family. "It sucks."
The case continues in court on Friday (Dec. 9).