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

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Most Read