Penticton woman sentenced to 1 year in jail for accidentally killing teen boyfriend with morphine injection

British Columbia

Penticton woman sentenced to 1 year in jail for accidentally killing teen boyfriend with morphine injection

A 24-year-old Penticton woman has been sentenced to a conditional three year sentence for the manslaughter death of her boyfriend Devon Blackmore who died after she twice injected him with morphine in order to ease pain he was experiencing from a severe case of undiagnosed pneumonia.

Devon Blackmore died in April 2017 after he asked Bourque to give him morphine to ease his pain

Devon Blackmore and Kiera Bourque were in a relationship in 2017 when Blackmore died of a drug overdose after he asked Bourque to inject him with morphine to ease symptoms of undiagnosed pneumonia (Kiera Bourque/Facebook)

A 24-year-old Penticton, B.C. woman has been handed a one year jail sentence for injecting her boyfriend Devon Blackmore with an accidental overdose of morphine in April 2017.

Kiera Bourque sat in the prisoners box in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton on Wednesday afternoon as Justice Gary Weatherill delivered the sentence in front of both her supporters and Blackmore's family and friends. 

“It gives me no pleasure to have to sentence you today for Devon's death for injecting him with a lethal dose of morphine,” Weatherill said.

“While I am satisfied you did not have any attention in causing Devon harm, what you did was reckless, senseless and naive. You should have known better.”

Blackmore was 17 years old and just three months away from graduating high school when he went into a seizure and died on the floor of Bourque's room.

Bourque, who was 20 at the time, had injected Blackmore with two doses of morphine after he asked her to give him the drug to ease pain he was experiencing.

Bourque and Blackmore had been dating for six months prior to his death, according to Weatherill.

Blackmore was not a hard drug user, but Bourque was using unprescribed morphine and other illegal drugs to deal with pain from a spinal injury she sustained playing rugby in 2014.

Devon Blackmore was just three months away from graduating high school when he died of a drug overdose in April 2017 (Everden Rust Funeral Services)

Before Blackmore's death, Bourque had encouraged him to go to hospital for his worsening symptoms of what was later determined to be a severe case of pneumonia, Weatherill said, but Blackmore declined.

An autopsy revealed Blackmore had a high concentration of morphine in his blood and the cause of death was determined to be a drug overdose, with pneumonia a contributing factor.

Bourque admitted to the RCMP that she had injected Blackmore with morphine and pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter earlier this year.

'A good young man, well-liked and full of life'

Weatherhill acknowledged the pain and suffering Blackmore's family has experienced since his death. 

“I want to make it clear that this sentence is in no way a reflection of Devon's life. There is no debate he was a good young man, well-liked and full of life,” We said.

“Ms. Bourque, sending you to jail will not bring Devon back, nor will it heal his family's wounds.”

Crown prosecutors had asked for a sentence of three years in prison and said Bourque has deflected responsibility for Blackmore's death, citing a psychologist's report.

Bourque's lawyer sought a three-year suspended sentence to be served in the community with strict conditions.

Weatherill called the sentencing decision “difficult and challenging” and said he had agonized over it.

“In my view what happened here was closer to the near accidental end of the spectrum rather than a near murder,” Weatherill said.

'An extreme lack of judgement'

He described Blackmore as a bright, likable 17-year-old with a promising future and he acknowledged Bourque didn't intended to hurt him.

“Devon and you loved each other,” Weatherhill said.

“You are an extremely remorseful young woman with no prior criminal history who made an extreme lack of judgment.”

Weatherill ordered a probation period of two years, following Bourque's jail time and said the probation would include strict conditions including house arrest and no drug or alcohol use.

She also faces a lifetime firearms prohibition and was ordered to pay nearly $5,000 in restitution to Blackmore's family.

About the Author

Brady Strachan

CBC Reporter

Brady Strachan is a CBC reporter based in Kelowna, B.C. Besides Kelowna, Strachan has covered stories for CBC News in Winnipeg, Brandon, Vancouver and internationally. Follow his tweets @BradyStrachan

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