Advertisement

RCMP charge man in connection with hit and run death of Mi’kmaq youth Brady Francis

Click to play video: 'Police lay charges in connection with Brady Francis’s hit-and-run death' Police lay charges in connection with Brady Francis’s hit-and-run death
WATCH: A 56-year-old man is facing charges in connection with the hit-and-run death of 22-year-old Brady Francis of Elsipogtog First Nation. Morganne Campbell has more – Jun 20, 2018

New Brunswick RCMP charged a 56-year-old man in the connection with the hit and run death of a 22-year-old man from the Elsipogtog First Nation in February.

Maurice Johnson of Saint-Charles, N.B., has been charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm or death.

READ MORE: ‘The community is in mourning’: growing memorial for victim of N.B. hit and run

Brady Francis was hit by a pickup truck on Feb. 24 as he departed a party in Saint-Charles, N.B., a predominantly francophone town about 12 kilometres south of the Elsipogtog reserve.

RCMP say that at approximately 9:30 p.m., officers responded to Saint-Charles Sud Road where the body of Francis was found on the side of the road.

Story continues below advertisement

Police believe he was waiting for a drive home when he was struck by a vehicle.

WATCH: Pressure mounts as Elsipogtog First Nation residents call for #justiceforbrady

Click to play video: 'Pressure mounts as Elsipogtog First Nation residents call for #justiceforbrady' Pressure mounts as Elsipogtog First Nation residents call for #justiceforbrady
Pressure mounts as Elsipogtog First Nation residents call for #justiceforbrady – Mar 4, 2018

The news was welcomed with relief in the community.

“We’re extremely happy,” said Ruth Levi, a band councillor and director of social services at the Elsipogtog reserve.

“The investigation is over. It was long but it shows that Brady’s case was not put on the back burner which a lot of people though was happening.”

Many Elsipogtog residents had called for criminal charges in the case, and alluded to Aboriginal anger at the jury acquittals in the killings of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine on the Prairies.

Story continues below advertisement

Social media posts were circulating following the incident with pictures of Boushie, Fontaine and Francis side by side, and many were tweeting #justiceforbrady, echoing hashtags used after the recent Prairie verdicts.

Said one Twitter user at the time: “All we can do is pray that Canada gets this one right.”

But Levi said Wednesday residents now believe the healing can begin.

“The RCMP did a great job in their investigation. Many times we thought nothing was happening because it was so long, a hundred and some-odd days, but today is a good day with lots of emotion,” she said.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in Moncton Provincial Court on July 10.

With files from The Canadian Press

Sponsored content