Accused Barrhaven Killer In Court, Remains In Protective Custody

By Charlie Senack

Febrio De-Zoysa, who was arrested in the killing of six people in their Barrhaven home, appeared briefly in court last week.

The 19-year-old has been charged with six counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. The youngest victim was only two months old.

Lawyer Ewan Lyttle told reporters he is in protective custody.

“I have been in touch with his family. They’re obviously very upset,” he said. “He’s doing okay.”

It’s unclear if Lyttle plans to argue mental health in his client’s case. De-Zoysa has been ordered to not have contact with five people — one of whom is the father who suffered serious injuries, primarily to his hands.

He appeared via video link from the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre. De-Zoysa gave his name and date of birth, and the Crown entered new information to correct the spelling of the victim’s names that were originally misspelled by police.  Taking just minutes, court was adjourned until March 28.

A Sri Lankan native, De-Zoysa had been living in the family’s basement for the last few months. They celebrated his birthday with balloons and a cheese cake just days before the killings. He studied at Algonquin College until recently dropping out.

The accused’s aunt, Anusha De-Zoysa , said her nephew met the father, Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, at Algonquin. She told Global News De-Zoysa was “quiet” and “a good student.” He came to Canada two years ago and stayed with family until recently.

“He stopped contacting us. He blocked us. Our phone numbers, social media. Everything was blocked,” she said. “Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think this would happen.”

De-Zoysa had been roommates with Dhanushka Wickramasinghe at Algonquin. Wickramasinghe was going to school and working, saving money to bring his family to Canada. He had invited De-Zoysa to come and live with them when his family arrived and they would be living in a house. Gamini Amarakoon, 40, also lived in the house with them. He was one of the six people murdered.