Penticton woman sentenced to year in jail for killing boyfriend with injection of morphine | Penticton News | iNFOnews

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Penticton woman sentenced to year in jail for killing boyfriend with injection of morphine

Devon Blackmore and Kiera Bourque.
Image Credit: Facebook
September 23, 2020 - 3:38 PM

A young Penticton woman will spend a year behind bars for manslaughter after injecting her boyfriend with an overdose of morphine.

Judge Gary Weatherill handed Kiera Bourque the one year sentence in Penticton Supreme Court this afternoon, Sept. 23, following the adjournment of the hearing last week for several days of deliberation.

Bourque entered a guilty plea to manslaughter in the death of Devon Blackmore, 17, who died of a morphine overdose on April 2, 2017. Bourque, who was 20 at the time of the incident, said she provided the morphine only after Blackmore asked her for it.

He was suffering from severe pneumonia at the time but did not realize it.

Bourque had begun using street drugs to control pain from a sports injury she suffered in 2017, including morphine.

She told the court she had never intended him harm and loved him, but Crown prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys said her actions were reckless, as she knew of the dangers of injecting morphine. He also said pre-sentence reports indicated a lack of insight on her part in the incident.

Defence lawyer Paul Varga asked for a suspended sentence for his client, saying she had loved Devon and never had any intention of causing him harm. Throughout the incident and afterwards she cooperated fully with authorities. Since the incident she had taken steps to get off drugs, get regular counselling and provide volunteer haircutting services to the homeless. She also took full responsibility for Devon’s death.

Judge Weatherill noted the suffering endured by Devon’s family following his loss.

“This event deeply impacted the family. In a word, it was gut wrenching. The impact can’t be understated,” he said.

He also noted Bourque’s “heartfelt” apology to the family in court, but said Bourque should have recognized Devon’s vulnerable state.

Judge Weatherill called Bourque’s actions “closer to the near accidental end of the spectrum” in terms of sentence severity.

“Deciding what your sentence should be has been difficult and challenging. I have agonized over it,” Weatherill said. “It was a seriously ill-advised decision to inject (Devon), but from the moment he started having seizures up until now you’ve done everything right."

“You immediately called 911, you did your best to save him, you told the 911 operator exactly what happened, you fully cooperated with the police. You have addressed your drug abuse issues and have volunteered in the community. You are an extremely remorseful young woman with no prior criminal history who made a serious lack of judgement and who has taken full responsibility for what has happened,” he said.

“I have considered and reconsidered the circumstances of this case. While I’m satisfied you did not have any intention of causing Devon’s death, and on the spectrum of moral blameworthiness this on the lower end of the spectrum, what you did was reckless, senseless and naive. You should have known better, especially when the drug you were administering was non-prescription, dangerous and in this case, illegal.  Devon’s death and this whole case was so unnecessary,” the judge said.

Judge Weatherill imposed a sentence of one year in jail followed by probation for two years. The judge said the first year of probation would include stringent conditions, much like house arrest.

She also faces a lifetime firearms prohibition.

“I want to make it clear that this sentence is in no way a reflection of Devon’s life. There is no debate he was a good young man, well-liked and full of life. As mentioned before, Ms Bourque, sending you to jail will not bring Devon back, nor will it heal his family’s wounds,” he said.

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