'There is no justice,' Fentanyl case sentencing on hold
In an unexpected twist, the sentencing in a landmark fentanyl case is on hold.
“There is no justice.” Denise Lane, the mother of Shawn Kelly Jr., tells CTV News outside the Barrie courthouse that today’s developments do little to provide closure.
Lane and her daughter found Kelly’s lifeless body on April 10, 2017, after the 23-year-old overdosed on a mixture of fentanyl and heroin.
“There are 11 people a day across Canada dying of fentanyl. And it’s only the loved ones of those victims that (care)," Lane says in anger.
Sentencing for 25-year-old Ryan Walker was delayed after his defence lawyer, David O’Connor, told the court he intends to file an application to strike his client’s guilty plea.
Walker pleaded guilty in December to drug trafficking charges and criminal negligence causing death.
Judge Michael Harpur planned to punish Walker with five-years behind bars, with credit for time already served in custody. O’Connor says that’s not what he was expecting. “I was surprised, even shocked."
The defence lawyer says his client would never have entered a guilty plea, nor agreed to testify for his co-accused, with a five-year sentence attached.
“Ryan did speak to the lawyer and said look, I’ll take three years, but I’m not taking five,” explains Walker’s mother, Jennifer.
“Had he had a six-week jury trial, he wouldn’t have done any worse than that,” O’Connor says.
The next court date for Ryan Walker is scheduled for March 12.
At that time, Judge Harpur will either decide to go ahead with sentencing, dismissing the defence's application, or the judge will grant the request, and the trial will start back at square one, with a new judge.
For Lane, she says all she has left of her son are his ashes in an urn and her memories. “My son was amazing… amazing,” she sobs.