Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced Wednesday (Sept. 23) in Penticton Supreme Court for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore.

She was handed one year in prison, followed by one year of house arrest, and two years probation with conditions.

Justice Weatherill said in his sentencing that ultimately, Bourque’s actions of injecting Blackmore with a lethal dose of morphine, took him from his family.

“What you did was reckless, senseless, and naive,” he said Wednesday. “Devon’s death and the whole ordeal was so unnecessary.”

Bourque’s probation conditions include keeping the peace, appearing in court when required, and notifying the court of changes. She is prohibited from consuming drugs or possess drug paraphernalia not prescribed to her, and must not enter any other business where the primary sale is liquor. She was also issued a lifetime firearms prohibition, and was ordered to pay $5,400 to benefit Blackmore’s family, to be paid in the next three years.

In February 2020, Bourque pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her 17-year-old boyfriend, Devon Blackmore. The teen died on April 2, 2017, at a Penticton residence after he was administered morphine by Bourque.

Manslaughter is defined as a homicide committed without the intention to cause death. From a suspended sentence, to life in prison, a manslaughter charge can bring with it a variety of sentencing, explained Weatherill. Most cases fall between four to 15 years.

Aggravating factors included the fact Blackmore was only 17 at the time of his death, and was in the care of 20-year-old Bourque, who he was dating at the time. Devon had no prior experience with drugs and was ‘vulnerable.’

Mitigating factors included the fact Bourque entered a guilty plea after the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, accepted responsibility, and did not put Blackmore’s family through a trial. She had no prior criminal record, and has taken steps to address substance use and mental health issues. The judge noted she contributed to the community, providing free haircuts to homeless shelter, and she did not attempt to conceal Devon’s death or hide evidence.

Weatherill considered Bourque’s apology, read in a Penticton Supreme Court appearance on Friday, Sept. 18, as ‘genuine,’ and noted her ‘sincere remorse.’

He referred to the witness impact statements, also read Friday, as ‘gut-wrenching’, and ‘horrendously tragic’ for family and friends of Blackmore.

Weatherill also referred to 15 letters of support for Bouque, referring to her as a kind, compassionate and caring person.

READ MORE: ‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

During Friday’s (Sept. 18) hearing, Crown prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys proposed a sentence of three years, plus conditions.

The defence announced they were seeking a two- to three-year suspended sentence.

Blackmore’s cause of death was found to be a morphine overdose, with potentially fatal pneumonia as a contributing factor. At the time, Blackmore did not consider the illness serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, and simply thought it was a chest cold.

The Crown said Bourque injected 17-year-old Blackmore, upon request, to help ease him of his discomfort and apparent pain he was experiencing due to pneumonia. He was not a consumer of hard drugs, was allergic to morphine, and had reacted poorly to it in the past. According to Bourque, he did not inform her of this.

When Bourque was arrested for manslaughter in Feb. 2018, she admitted to injecting Blackmore with morphine, but stated she, “loved Devon and did not wish to harm him.”

In his sentencing, Weatherill offered the family his, “heartfelt condolences for your loss. I realized the hole left in your lives cannot be filled.”

He acknowledged the sentencing “will not bring Devon back, and will not fill the void left in your hearts, and your lives.”

Weatherill said Bouque has a “bright future ahead of her.”

“I hope you will use the time you spend incarcerated … positively and productively. I wish you well.”

Crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Firefighters from three departments battled a house fire south of Nanaimo for more than nine hours Sunday. (Photo courtesy Martin Leduc)
Home destroyed by fire south of Nanaimo

Firefighters from three fire departments battle blaze fanned by strong southerly winds on Sunday

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared over at Eden Gardens. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Nanaimo’s Eden Gardens

One staff member and one resident tested positive for the virus over past two weeks

Gabriola Island poet Naomi Beth Wakan’s latest book is ‘Wind on the Heath.’ (Photo courtesy Elias Wakan)
Former Nanaimo poet laureate revisits past poems in latest collection

Gabriola Island’s Naomi Beth Wakan presents career-spanning ‘Wind on the Heath’

An app available through the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s website can help students during COVID times. (Stock photo)
New library app can help families with online learning

Sample tests, virtual flashcards available through Vancouver Island Regional Library’s website

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Most Read