Kiera Bourque, guilty of manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Devon Blackmore, will spend one year in jail

'Devon deserved life'

Casey Richardson

UPDATE: 4:20 p.m.

Lorrie Blackmore is angry about the death of her son Devon Blackmore and has a bone to pick with the justice system that saw his killer Kiera Bourque sentenced to one year in jail.

Blackmore spoke to media after the sentencing Wednesday in Penticton, surrounded by family members.

“These light sentences are not acceptable... Kiera’s sentence is not enough,” Blackmore said. “There must be greater repercussions, there must be a heavier onus on those who take another life.”

She spoke about her unhappiness at the statement by Bourque’s lawyer that Bourque had saved the family the pain and anguish of having to go through a trial, which he used as an argument for a lighter sentence for his client.

“Our family wanted a trial. We wanted a trial so that everyone knew how Devon came to be lying in the hallway in that apartment building.”

“There were other choices that should’ve been made that fateful weekend."

Blackmore pushed the community to make light sentencing an election issue, asking for changes in the court system. She also addressed the ongoing opioid crisis, stating that “No one should ever feel comfortable administering drugs to one another.” 

“Devon deserves more than this...Devon deserved life,” she finished.

Blackmore’s full statement can be watched above. 

-with files from Casey Richardson

UPDATE: 2:55 p.m.

Kiera Bourque has been sentenced to one year in prison, followed by two years' probation, for the manslaughter death of her boyfriend Devon Blackmore. 

Judge Weatherill prefaced his decision by explaining his sentencing duty was to "follow the law," adding that "I hope in time that all of Devon’s family and friends will be able to grieve … and come to peace with the sentence I’m about to impose.”

There is no mandatory minimum sentence for manslaughter, and the maximum is life in prison. 

Weatherill spoke to Bourque's progress with employment, substance abuse treatment and years of clean living. 

"It is apparent that you are a young woman with a positive and bright future ahead of you," Weatherill said, adding he was moved by Bourque's apologies and tender way of speaking about her love for Blackmore. "Your sincere remorse is noted."

He also addressed emotional victim impact statements shared with the court by Blackmore's family. 

"In a word, these victim impact statements are gut-wrenching. The devastation Devon's death has had on his family cannot be understated." 

Weatherill said aggravating factors affecting his sentence decision included the age gap between Blackmore, 17 when he died, and Bourque, 20 at the time, putting Blackmore in a "vulnerable position." Mitigating factors included her guilty plea, saving the family "the agony of a trial."

"My role as your sentencing judge is to assess your moral culpability," Weatherill explained, speaking directly to Bourque. "I must consider the intentional risk you took in injecting Devon."

He said has had an extremely difficult time with the sentence, weighing the loss of a young man's life with what he called obvious remorse in Bourque, and what he described as an act of manslaughter "on the accidental end" of the spectrum of such crimes. 

"Devon and you loved each other, From the moment he started having seizures, up until today, you've done everything right," Weatherill said to Bourque. "What you did was reckless senseless and naive, you should have known better."

Ultimately, Weatherill chose a balance between the Crown request for three years in prison and Bourque's counsel's request for three years' suspended sentence to be served in the community.  Bourque will spend one year in prison, followed by two years' probation with strict curfews and restrictions. She will also need to pay for funeral costs. 

"I want to make it clear to everyone here that this sentence is in no way a reflection on the value of Devon's life," Weatherill said, adding the jail time "will not bring Devon back."

Weatherill finished by telling Bourque "I hope you will use the time you spend incarcerated and your probationary period productively. I wish you well." 

Devon Blackmore's mother Lorrie will be speaking to Castanet shortly with her response to the ruling. 

More to come...

ORIGINAL: 1:50 p.m.

The final chapter in the manslaughter death of 17-year-old Devon Blackmore will conclude Wednesday afternoon in Penticton as Kiera Bourque, who pleaded guilty to injecting Blackmore with morphine, receives her sentence. 

Bourque was dating Blackmore at the time of the incident in April 2017 and claims he asked her to inject him to help with pain from a then-undiagnosed severe lung infection. She obliged, using illegally obtained morphine and causing Blackmore to overdose.  

Court heard submissions from Crown and from Bourque's lawyer last week, with the former seeking three years in jail and the latter asking for a three-year conditional sentence spent in the community. 

Justice Gary Weatherill is expected to begin his sentencing decision at 2 p.m. and Castanet will have the updates in this story.

More to come...

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