Victim Impact Statement written by Dylan's mother, Marlene Beres.
Thank you for the opportunity to have my say in this court today. I struggle to find the words to describe my son's character. All he needed was 5 minutes with you and you would realize the person he was. He can't be here so I am here to tell you my son was a unique, kind young man that had a truly kind heart. If you had the opportunity to speak with him you would realize it immediately.
It was just like yesterday that Dylan was born. I can remember very clearly he was an emergency C-section. I thought I was going to lose him. I was so happy to have him in my life.
I noticed as a child that he had a very kind heart. He had empathy to people’s feelings, not just to me and my family, but to everybody he met. I was so proud to be his mother! I was proud to introduce him to my friends and coworkers because they all would say afterwards what a wonderful boy he was. Now that’s all changed; all I have is memories of my beautiful child, just memories.
Dylan loved me so much! Even as a teenager Dylan was never embarrassed to say "I love you" in front of his friends. I was so proud of the person he was. Parents of Dylan’s friends have stopped me and told me how Dylan would see them in the malls or stores and stop to speak with them without his friends being there. He just wanted to know how they were doing. "You have a very kind son" they would tell me. That made my heart feel joy.
Dylan had wishes and dreams that were just coming into reality. With the upcoming birth of his first child, he had dreams of a nice home and a life with his family.
Decoine-Zuniga has taken my son away from me, away from his brother, sister, father and my beautiful granddaughter who had a right to have her father in her life to support her financially and emotionally and to protect her as a father should. Most of all, she had a right to be held in her daddy’s arms to love her and tell her that she was the most important thing in his world! She never met her father, you’ve taken her father away from her.
Dylan is more than just "that boy that was murdered on Whyte Ave, at the age of 20" that you see in the papers. He was my baby, my child, my teenager, and the man that he was just starting to grow into. He was a friend, boyfriend to Natasha and young man just starting out in his life. Now he lies in his grave. That’s where I go to spend time with my son.
Since Dylan’s murder I have struggled with God. People all say, "It's not God, it was DecoineZuniga's free will". Well since listening to evidence, it appears Decoine-Zuniga has had way too much free will in his life and he didn't use it in a positive way.
My son struggled for 15 hours to try to live. Now I go lay on my son's grave to visit him. He shouldn’t be there; he should be bounding into my house, full of life like he alway had before.
It’s been over seven years. For the first four years, Decoine-Zuniga didn’t have the compassion to turn himself in to tell his side of the story. It’s not like he didn’t know that we were looking for him. We were out every year on Whyte Avenue to mark the anniversary of Dylan’s murder, pleading for someone to come forward. Decoine-Zuniga gave my son a life sentence. DecoineZuniga took away my granddaughter's father forever.
My Dylan did nothing to him. Decoine-Zuniga was part of a cold, evil attack for his own twisted satisfaction. Throughout the past seven years, Decoine-Zuniga continued his criminal lifestyle, admitting to using and selling drugs and attempting to advance himself through his association with perceived organized criminals.
My father died 6 weeks after Dylan was murdered. My dad was my rock, my touchstone, he kept me sane. He told me, "Only one foot in front of the other Marlene, that is all you need to do today". I lost my father, and yet I hurt no one. Three months after that, my mom died. Both my parents were gone within three months. I lost three of the most important people in my life with five months and yet I hurt no one. Not like you Decoine-Zuniga where you attribute your grandmothers death to the horrible actions that you were part in. I have not yet started the grieving process for my parents. My baby's murder consumes me. All I tell myself is that parents and grandparents are supposed to die before you.
It’s been over seven years since Decoine-Zuniga had a part in killing Dylan. It just seems like yesterday. The pain is so intense at times I think that I will never heal. I went into such a dark, depressing hole for the year after my son died that I almost didn’t come out of it, yet i hurt no one. The spasms of grief would take my breath away and I would just start emotionally breaking down at any given minute, at anytime of the day; it didn’t matter where I was. This despair crippled me physically and emotionally and I had flashbacks of the moment they phoned me to notify me that Dylan had been stabbed. I visualized how he died, how he suffered, making my anger and the pain very deep. I had panic attacks. I started to drink heavily so I could stop my thoughts and be able to sleep. It wasn’t long before depression set in and I withdrew, not wanting to go out. When I did force myself to go out, I was full of anxiety. I just wanted to die. Life had no meaning. Seeing my Dylan’s body in such a horrific state was shocking to me. He didn’t even look like my son anymore. Decoine-Zuniga took the last sight of my child away from me; yet I hurt no one.
Decoine-Zuniga has changed my whole being. I struggle with God, financially I’ve been wiped out, mentally I have changed what I believe in. I used to believe there was good in everyone, but not now. Decoine-Zuniga took my beautiful son away from me in such an inconceivable way.
I used to believe if you run with a bad crowd, you put yourself at risk but this experience has taught me there people who have no regard for others lives or the lives of the people who love them.
I can’t watch movies or television the way I used to for it brings back memories of Dylan's death.
It saddens me to know you had a chance to search your soul and tell the truth on the stand, let us know the regret you should have felt about being part of this violent crime by telling the truth. You only thought of yourself, I believe you thought you would get off or have a less of a charge. You also play the system, knowing of things to keep you out and also asking for a gladue, we all have bad lives, not just because you are part native, my son was also part native and he was not a person to want to hurt someone to the point of putting their life in danger. I don't think the colour of your skin is a way or a excuse to play the system the way you are. That just cements the true person that you are, and until you have empathy for others, I believe you are a danger to society.
Yes, my soul is wounded and this I know will never heal. I will smile again. I enjoy my other children and my grandchildren, but they will always be a dark, depressing hole in my heart that yearns for my baby, my boy, my Dylan, my beautiful son that I love so much and who filled my heart with such light. That light is only a memory now because of Decoine-Zuniga.
Dylan will always live on because I carry his heart within in my heart, and you, Decoine-Zuniga will never be able to hurt us again, because you not worth the time.