Fentanyl overdose: Ontarian sentenced to 8 years in prison for manslaughter

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Fentanyl overdose: Ontarian sentenced to 8 years in prison for manslaughter

Derrick Adams had supplied the drug to a teenager 17-year-old who died in 2021 following a transaction with the trafficker.

The judgment of the Ontario Court of Justice had confirmed that any fentanyl trafficker can be guilty of manslaughter if the victim dies of an overdose.

In Simcoe Court, Derrick Adams is sentenced to 8 years in prison for manslaughter in connection with the overdose death of a teenage girl. The 17-year-old died at Simcoe Hospital near Port Dover in southern Ontario in 2021.

Derrick Adams was convicted last November of fentanyl trafficking, manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death following his trial last fall.

In her verdict, Justice Aubrey Danielle Hilliard of the Ontario Court of Justice ruled at the time that any reasonable person should have known of the risks involved in a transaction. fentanyl.

Rachel (the victim can only be identified by her first name, editor's note), died of an overdose on August 27, 2021. The judge also took into account the young age of the teenager in her sentence.

The 42-year-old individual, who has a long criminal history, was back in court on Tuesday morning in Simcoe to hear his sentence. The very brief hearing took place by videoconference.

Dressed in an orange prisoner's outfit, the bald man appeared masked in the room at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Center set aside for virtual appearances.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Norfolk County conducted the criminal investigation.

The magistrate just took the time to quote the number of years he receives for each charge for which he was convicted and the number of years she granted him for the time which he has spent in protective custody since his arrest in September 2021.

Derrick Adams will therefore only have five and a half years left to serve in custody, thanks to a credit of 786 days.

Before concluding the hearing, the judge addressed the individual orally. I hope this is the end of your journey through our criminal justice system, she told him.

This is an all-out victory for the Crown.

The Ontario prosecutor was seeking eight years on the charge of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.

His federal counterpart was demanding a six-year sentence for the trafficking charge. The two sentences must be served concurrently.

The defense was asking for a sentence of five to six years in prison on all the charges.

She had submitted during the hearing on the determination of sentencing last month a letter from her client that she had read to the court. His client expressed remorse for what happened to Rachel.

The magistrate notes, however, that he nevertheless shifted some of the blame to Rachel and members of the victim's family, appearing to minimize his role in the teenager's untimely demise.

Derrick Adams' defense claimed there was no evidence that his client met the victim on the night of his overdose death or provided him with fentanyl in the event that he encountered her.

In her written decision, of which Radio-Canada obtained a copy, the judge first noted the lengthy criminal record of the individual who was convicted in the past of violent offenses and several violations of human rights. court orders.

The magistrate adds that the case law on fentanyl overdoses is still changing in the country, because the phenomenon is relatively new.

She writes instead that there can be no argument about the health risks of fentanyl and that this case demonstrates the devastating consequences that fentanyl poses to users.

The judge emphasizes that the purpose of any criminal conviction is to protect the community, help uphold the laws in it, and maintain a just, peaceful and safe society.

“In an attempt to achieve this goal, I must impose sanctions that take into account traditional principles such as denunciation, deterrence and rehabilitation, and promote a sense of responsibility among offenders and recognition of the harm that ;they chatted to the community.

— Ontario Court of Justice Judge Aubrey Danielle Hilliard

She says there are very few mitigating factors other than none, in the conduct of the defendant.

She notes, for example, that there is no evidence that Mr. Adams endured painful times in prison during the pandemic regarding, for example, the time he spent in solitary confinement.

The judgment also gives an insight into the defendant's life. Derrick Adams chose to live with his father at the age of 12 when his parents divorced.

His father, who was a professional truck driver and an alcoholic, however, did not spend much time with him because of his job.

Young Derrick left the ;school after an eighth grade. He started using crystal meth at age 17.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter in the country is life in prison and there is only a minimum of 4 to 7 years in custody in cases where the death was caused by a firearm.

He was only 19 when his mother moved to Winnipeg. The latter succumbed to cancer in 2015. Her father, himself a drug addict, died four years later in 2019.

Mr. Adams suffers from depression and attention deficit disorder for which he is now being treated in prison.

The individual had further indicated in his statement that ;he would never use or touch fentanyl again after his release.

If Mr. Adams is able to meet this commitment, his prospects for reintegration and rehabilitation about his drug addiction will be better, concludes the magistrate.