EDITOR’S NOTE: Police initially said other charges against Handbury, in addition to the second-degree murder and attempted murder charges, were withdrawn before the new charges were laid. On March 21, 2018, police said that in fact some of the earlier charges had been stayed and have since been reinstated. This article has been updated to reflect the new information.
Nearly 10 months after Edmonton police withdrew a second-degree murder charge and stayed other charges against a 31-year-old man in connection with a deadly hit and run, they have laid new charges against him and brought some of the stayed charges back to life.
Eighteen-year-old Jade Belcourt, died after being hit by a pickup truck in the city’s west end on May 22, 2017.
On Tuesday, police announced charges against Justin Handbury for criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, operating a motor vehicle while disqualified, possession of incendiary materials with the intent to commit arson, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and three counts of breach of recognizance.
Handbury initially faced charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder, but those were withdrawn.
“Charges were withdrawn due to new information presented at the time,” police said in a news release. “As a result of further investigation and consultation with the Crown, the most recent charges were laid by Homicide Section.”
The day of the collision, police were called to the area of 85 Avenue and 190 Street at about noon. They were told the teen was struck by the vehicle “following an altercation” in a home. The teen was rushed to hospital where he later died of his injuries.
Shortly after the hit and run, Belcourt’s aunt, Beth Cork, told Global News the altercation was between a man and another of her nephews, not Belcourt.
Watch below: On May 22, 2017, Laurel Gregory filed this report about a hit-and-run collision in west Edmonton that left an 18-year-old man in critical condition.
An autopsy revealed Belcourt died from blunt craniocervical spine trauma, and his death was ruled a homicide. Police released photos of Handbury to the public, saying they were looking for him in connection to the case and he later turned himself in at the Strathcona County RCMP detachment.