The young man responsible for the death of Langley’s Carson Crimeni pleaded guilty to manslaughter in New Westminster Supreme Court Monday morning.
“It’s definitely mixed emotions,” said Aron Crimeni, Carson’s father. “There was a part of me that wanted to see him found guilty [in a trial],”
But he said it was definitely a good thing to see a guilty plea.
“It’s been four years,” Aron noted.
“For me, guilty is guilty,” said Darrel Crimeni, Carson’s grandfather. “It’s a bit of a relief.”
The youth, who cannot be named because he was under 18 at the time of the incident, is expected to be sentenced in September, Crimeni said.
The guilty plea and expected sentencing will be the end of the police investigation and legal case that began on Aug. 14, 2019 when Carson, 14, was found in serious medical distress in a park near Walnut Grove Secondary.
That same day, videos surfaced on social media showing Carson at the skate park in Walnut Grove, so intoxicated he could barely speak. Others could be heard and seen laughing at him on the videos.
His family has always maintained that others gave Carson a large amount of drugs, leading to his death.
“The sentence was sort of secondary for us,” Darrel said. “The main thing was the word guilty.”
A spokesperson for the B.C. Prosecution Service confirmed that the accused will be sentenced as a youth offender.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, a young person can be sentenced as an adult for serious crimes such as murder or manslaughter.
If they are sentenced as a youth, however, the maximum sentence for manslaughter is three years.
Darrel said he was not looking forward to a 30-day trial. A trial had been scheduled to start on June 19, running for a full month in New Westminster.
Although a sentencing hearing has not yet been officially set, Darrel has been told by Crown prosecutors that there will be a two-day hearing in September, at which time the family will be able to make victim impact statements. Details about the incident are expected to be released by the Crown as part of the sentencing.
“It won’t be easy,” said Aron, who plans to prepare for the victim impact statements.
Those statements are where loved ones of victims can speak about the impact the crime has had on their lives.
The offender will be back in court on Thursday to set an official sentencing date.
Aron said he plans to be at the skate park in Walnut Grove again this year on July 2, Carson’s birthday, to remember his son.
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