Man sentenced to three years in prison for teen's drug-related death
Published Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:18PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 16, 2017 7:55PM ADT
A man found guilty of criminal negligence causing the drug-related death of a 17-year-old boy in Saint John more than three years ago has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Gavin Adams disappeared on Dec. 14, 2013. Snow removal crews found his body two days later in a parking lot in the city’s north end.
Investigators said Adams had been given a hallucinogenic, “designer” drug called 25-I which caused his death. Another teen who took the drug ended up in a hospital emergency room.
Richard Valiquette was arrested and charged with manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death. The manslaughter charge was later dropped.
Justice Frederick Ferguson convicted 28-year-old Valiquette of criminal negligence causing death in February.
Adams’ family was in court Tuesday to watch the sentencing and send a message to drug dealers.
"Just the sentence itself, (Valiquette) going to penitentiary for his action, is what we hoped would be the outcome,” says David Adams, Gavin’s father. “And that to serve as a deterrent for others."
Valiquette was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison. He is also prohibited from owning firearms for 10 years.
Although the judge told the court that no sentence would bring peace to Adams’ family.
"There was intentional risk-taking here by Mr. Valiquette in supplying this potent psychedelic drug to two minors on an extremely cold December night in 2013," Justice Ferguson told the court.
"No sentence will help heal the wounds those many people who loved Gavin Adams feel today or will ever compensate for that loss now or in the future."
Justice Ferguson also expressed concern over what he called a “wave of overdose deaths” in Canada.
"If this offence had occurred today, it is very likely that the sentence would be more severe," Ferguson said.
David Adams made a point of urging other parents to learn more about some of these issues. He said the drugs being offered to young people today are so much more dangerous that what was available a generation ago.
Adams said a lot of parents are likely not aware of the lethal nature of some of the street drugs that are in circulation.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.