Michael Wassill died on May 23, 2013.
Brier Dodge/Metroland / Brier Dodge/Metroland
Michael Wassill died a hero.And now, nearly six years after his murder, he will be posthumously recognized for the bravery of his final living act — shielding a friend from the man who would end up killing him.Gov. Gen. Julie Payette is set to award Wassill the Medal of Bravery this week.Wassill, 20, had been letting a friend who feared her former boyfriend stay at his family’s home on Fernleaf Crescent in Orléans in May 2013.On a Wednesday afternoon, Carson Morin, the woman’s jealous and angry ex-boyfriend and former pimp, looking to reclaim what he thought was his or get revenge for what he thought was her audacity to leave him, showed up with a box-cutter and surgical gloves.Wassill would send the woman, whose name remains protected by a publication ban, upstairs to hide and would open the door to confront Morin but refused to let him inside. The two struggled. Morin shoved Wassill against a wall and slashed his throat before fleeing. Wassill would die in hospital days later.Morin was convicted in May 2017 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.Michael’s mother, Betty-Ann, and father, René, sat through 14 weeks of a murder trial, complicated by perjury, half-truths and attempts to cover up Morin’s deliberate actions. Now, together, they will accept the award on their slain son’s behalf.The news of the honour, means for them, a validation of the kind of person Michael was. He was a beacon of friendship, they told his murder trial.Family and friends “gravitated towards his gentle and comforting nature, and in his final days, the larger Ottawa community was touched by his final deed of heroism,” they wrote in his obituary.“If we can take anything from this tragedy, it is that the world would be a kinder place if we followed Mike’s lead by protecting and sheltering others in need.”That final act will now be memorialized.“I guess if I could comment at all it would be to say how honoured we are to be accepting the medal of bravery on behalf of Michael and how it will recognize at the highest level, and across the country, the sacrifice Michael did when he chose to protect his friend,” Betty-Ann told this newspaper on Monday.The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Thursday — Valentine’s Day — in Quebec City.firstname.lastname@example.org/shaaminiwhy