A Penticton, B.C., woman who admitted to accidentally killing her teen boyfriend by administering a fatal dose of morphine was sentenced to one year in prison in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Gary Weatherill delivered the sentencing after hearing submissions on the appropriate punishment for Kiera Bourque, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection to the death of 17-year-old Devon Blackmore in April 2017.
Weatherill also handed Bourque, 24, two years of probation.
The Crown said Blackmore was sick with undiagnosed pneumonia, and his then 20-year-old girlfriend, Bourque, gave him illegally-acquired morphine to ease his pain.
Bourque told police Blackmore had asked her to administer the drugs, because he didn’t know how to do it himself.
Court heard Blackmore later collapsed in Bourque’s apartment and started convulsing.
Bourque immediately called 911 and performed first aid, but Blackmore was pronounced deceased at the scene by the time paramedics arrived.
Bourque wasn’t charged until May 28, 2018, more than one year after Blackmore’s death. And in February of this year, she made a surprise guilty plea to manslaughter.
Crown lawyer Andrew Vandersluys argued for a three-year prison sentence. He said even though Bourque did not intend to kill her boyfriend, her actions were “extremely reckless.”
Defence lawyer Paul Varga argued for a three-year suspended sentence to be served in the community under strict conditions.
Varga said Bourque does not pose a danger to the community and took full responsibility for her actions by being honest with authorities and entering a guilty plea.
Blackmore was just three months shy of graduating from Penticton Secondary School and was an avid hockey player, his family said.
Through tears, Blackmore’s family members shared the heart-wrenching impact his death had by reading victim impact statements during last week’s sentencing submissions.
“Devon was an inspiration to most, a hero to some, and loved by all,” his younger sister Karley Blackmore said.
“My brother never got to graduate. Never got to get married or have children to call him dad. He died so young and unexpected that it shook my whole life,” she added.
Devon’s mother, Lorrie Blackmore, said she’s still trying to figure out how she’s going to get through his next birthday without him.
“My future is haunted with the next 30 or so Christmases, Easters, Mother’s Days and Thanksgivings that he will not be here with us.”
“Many days it takes all my energy to get out of bed just to start the grief journey all over again,” she added.