RCMP investigating a fatal stabbing in the 400 block of Ninth Ave. West on Oct. 18 2017. (The Northern View file photo)

Prince Rupert man who killed foster parents in 2017 receives three-year sentence

A Prince Rupert man convicted in the deaths of his foster parents has been sentenced to three years, to be served both in custody and in the community.

The young man, only known as B.E. because he was a minor at the time, was found guilty of manslaughter last August in the 2017 deaths of his foster mother, known as S.L, and foster father, H.L. He was originally charged with second-degree murder.

The trial heard B.E. stabbed his foster mom while she slept in her bedroom, and when his foster dad came into the room, stabbed him as well. However, he also phoned 911 right away, asking for an ambulance, and telling the dispatcher, “I can’t remember what I did. I — I stabbed my parents.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice James W. Williams rejected the defence’s argument that he may have been was sleepwalking, but later acknowledged the young man was not “sufficiently mentally engaged with his actions so as to foresee that the bodily harm he inflicted would likely be fatal.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert foster child found guilty of manslaughter in stabbing deaths of foster parents

Among the evidence presented in pre-sentence reports was a description of B.E.’s childhood – one full of parental neglect and dysfunction, with neither of his biological parents having a meaningful role of his life following an early time of separation.

“The suggestion that seems to emerge from the reports is that in fact, [B.E.] was not especially happy and that he harboured feelings of being alone, felt that he was neglected by his own family, and that he was not provided with the emotional support he needed by either his own family or his foster parents,” Williams wrote in his June 27 decision, recently published online.

Though he had taken work and educational placements, and received support from First Nations elders, his psychologist was not certain he would not repeat his “mysterious” behaviour, the judge wrote, adding that B.E. himself acknowledged the risk remained present.

Crown counsel had argued that B.E., now 19 years old, should spend 30 months in custody and the rest in the community, while the defense argued only one day should be spent in custody, in light of the time B.E. already been spent in detention.

“It is my expectation that he will be housed in a youth facility,” the judge said, “and that all reasonable measures will be taken to provide him with constructive programming and mental health support.”

“It is clear and obvious that this young person needs significant counselling and at the same time, he needs to appreciate the importance of discipline in doing the work he has to do to build up the lessons.”

READ MORE: Youth to be charged for second degree murder and attempted murder


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Most Read