Justice Served After 15 Years in Fergus Hit and Run Case

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In an emotional courtroom filled with the family and friends of Lucas Shortreed, judgements were passed yesterday, placing a measure of closure on a tragic event that unfolded nearly 15 years ago in Fergus, Ontario. The death of the 18-year-old, killed in a hit and run, had shocked a closely-knit community and gripped them in a relentless thirst for justice.

Mother Judie Moore expressed a profound relief, outside the courtroom, at the conclusion of the proceedings that had stretched long, testing the endurance of Shortreed’s loved ones. Shortreed’s days marked by youth and potential, brought to a premature end on a near midnight walk back home, were recalled with sorrow.

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David Alexander Halliburton, the driver aged 56, admitted his guilt on two counts – failure to remain at the scene of the accident, and obstructing justice. He will now pay his sentence, two-and-a-half years in the confines of a jail cell; a worldly reflection of the confinement the victim’s family has endured in their shared grief. The addition of a three-year driving prohibition and the compulsory submission of his DNA to a database underscored Halliburton’s punishment.

An accomplice to this heinous act was Halliburton’s companion, Anastasia Marie Halliburton. Her involvement in the subterfuge was acknowledged by a guilty plea for obstruction of justice. A simultaneous house arrest and curfew over the span of six months, besides 200 hours of community service, is her reckoning.

Deciphering the intricate web of deceit crafted by the Halliburtons to hide the truth, prolonging the anguished state of Shortreed’s family in doing so, fell upon the judge. This task was done with careful deliberation and with cognizance of the sustained trauma inflicted upon the community at large.

The relentless chase for answers stretched over 14 years, marked by numerous tips pointing to a 1995 to 1997 white Dodge Neon. The breakthrough came only in 2022 when an insightful tip led to the discovery of said vehicle on the Halliburton’s property. It was ingeniously hidden behind a fake wall in a semi-trailer.

In a twist of fate, the Halliburtons had once aided the very investigations that were closing in on them by loaning a decoy Dodge Neon, bought after the hit and run, for a re-enactment in 2013.

Shortreed’s family states that the extent of justice served goes beyond the walls of a courtroom- the consequences of the Halliburtons’ actions have left them bereft of community support and the comforts of home, a price beyond any legal penalty.

And so, we turn to the bittersweet resolution of a family’s long-awaited justice, and with it, the promise of healing and a chance to remember Lucas Shortreed differently, more for the life he lived and less for the circumstances surrounding his tragic death.

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