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

Kimberley Minor Hockey players scrimmage with the Dynamiters last year. KMH file
Kimberley and Cranbrook Minor Hockey relationship grows the game for local players

Players can now play to their skill level regardless of city of origin

The KEYSA Indoor Facility is nearing completion as the air-supported dome was raised last week. Trevor Crawley photo.
KEYSA indoor facility project nearing completion

Project remains on budget and set for completion by the end of October

The old Kootenay Springs building on 6th Street in Cranbrook, just off the highway, was on fire Saturday night, Oct 17. Barry Coulter photo
Kootenay Springs building, burns in Cranbrook; other fires still under investigation

Derelict building was on the site of the old Cranbrook Brewery, itself destroyed by fire 95 years ago

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry to the U.S., still placed in Canadian quarantine

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Trail Smoke Eaters forward Jaden Senkoe set up two goals including the game winner in a 3-1 victory over the Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday. Photo: Jim Bailey.
Smoke Eaters even Kootenay Cup series vs Cranbrook

Trail Smoke Eaters bounce back for 3-1 victory over the Cranbrook Bucks Saturday

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

Most Read