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

People participating at a Remembrance Day event in Nakusp in 2016. Photo: Jillian Trainor
Scaled-down Remembrance Day event to take place in Nakusp

People are asked to physically distance and wear masks if they attend the event

A view of proposed seniors housing on Vernon St. Illustration: City of Nelson/ Vendure Retirement Communities
Nelson seniors housing project to start construction in the spring

Private development on Vernon Street will provide assisted living services as well as housing

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

NAV CANDA is considering closing its station at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization is conducting a service review at Castlegar’s airport

Internet service in the West Kootenay is improving thanks to provincial government grants. File photo
COVID-19 support program brings faster internet to rural communities

The province has provided grants to local internet providers

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will be looking to crack the Top 10 Ski Resorts list by USA Today for the second straight year. (Claire Palmer photo)
Kicking Horse nominated as one of North America’s favourite ski resorts

The resort finished in tenth in the same poll last year

Most Read