In a rare move, the chief of Peel Regional Police is slamming the legal system after a 27-year-old Brampton man was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a 25-year-old Halton Hills woman with whom he had a relationship.
“This represents a tragic outcome for a young person who carried a bright future,” Nishan Duaraiappah said in a statement Friday afternoon, expressing condolences to the loved ones of Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman.
“In this incident, the sadness I feel for the victim and her family is mixed with frustration for a complete failure of our justice system to protect her.”
The charges came after police said emergency crews were called to a home on Deerpark Crescent, east of McLaughlin Road North and Williams Parkway in Brampton, just before 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday after a family member discovered the victim, who died at the scene, and the accused, who was then rushed to a hospital with critical injuries.
The suspect, who was identified on Friday as Darnell Reid, was later charged with second-degree murder, possession of a loaded firearm and two counts of failure to comply with a release order.
In his statement, Duraiappah said Reid was under an interim judicial release in connection with a previous alleged domestic violence incident between Henderson-Bellman and Reid. He said Reid was arrested four times for breaching conditions of his release by contacting Henderson-Bellman.
“The family and police struggled to keep her safe,” Duraiappah said.
He went on to say Reid was arrested in May in an unrelated matter after he allegedly had an illegal firearm. Less than a week after Reid was taken into custody, Duraiappah said he was released with a GPS monitoring device back into the community.
According to court documents obtained by Global News, he was ordered to stay at least 100 metres away from Henderson-Bellman and not go near the home where her grandparents lived.
“This was despite clear concerns regarding his risk to the victim, the community and the potential to continue to re-offend. This resulted in another life being taken by a violent offender with another illegal firearm,” he said.
“This unacceptable failure is becoming entirely too familiar in our communities. Collectively we need to do better.”
The charges against Reid haven’t been proven in court.
Florence Bellman and Paul Henderson were Darian’s grandparents and told Global News they raised her since she was three years old. They said Darian was in an on-and-off relationship with Reid for at least two years. Bellman said they’re struggling to understand why she went to Reid’s residence — something police couldn’t elaborate on either.
“We wanted to stand for something. She couldn’t have died for nothing. She was so abused,” Bellman said, emphasizing she and her husband wanted to speak out.
“She was terrified of him, we knew that. She was terrified and we said, ‘If you stay in and not go out at all, we’ll protect you in here.’ But when you’re asking a 25-year-old not to see daylight, it doesn’t make any sense to them because why can’t she go to her friends? Why can’t she be with her friends?”
“If what we’re telling you curbs one girl away from some monster, she didn’t die in vain,” Henderson added.
Bellman and Henderson questioned Reid’s release from custody, saying they believed it was due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the couple reflected on Darian’s life Friday afternoon, remembering her as someone who was “beautiful inside and out.” They also said she recently interviewed for a new job after being laid off earlier this year due to the pandemic.
In Peel Region, domestic-related homicides have been a major issue facing the community. Thirteen out of Peel Region’s 27 homicides in 2019 were alleged to have been committed by family members or those who were intimate partners of the victims.
Anyone with information with respect to the investigation was asked to call police at 905-453-2121 ext. 3205 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.