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

B.C. youth found guilty of fatally stabbing his foster parents

Second-degree murder charges dismissed against then-17-year-old boy

A Prince Rupert man has been found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 deaths of his foster parents.

The man, whose identity is protected from publication under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is referred to as B. E., his foster mom as S. L., and foster dad as H. L.

In the early morning of Oct. 18 2017, police responded to a call from B. E. about a stabbing in the 400-block of Ninth Avenue West.

According to the June 27 ruling, posted online on Tuesday, the young man, then 17 years old, told the dispatcher: “I can’t remember what I did. I, I stabbed my parents.”

When police arrived, they found S. L. and H. L. suffering from serious injuries.

H. L. died later that day.

S. L. was rushed to hospital and later airlifted to Vancouver, but died eight days later.

B.E. was taken into custody that evening and later charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

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

At his trial in B.C. Supreme Court last April, he admitted he had stabbed his foster parents and caused their deaths, but denied he had done so with criminal intent.

Police were able to interview his foster mother while she was still being treated in Prince Rupert. She told officers there had been no history of violence with B. E.

On the night of the incident, she said B. E. walked into her room, and she felt getting hit by something, and B.E. told her he was going to call 911.

There was also no evidence to suggest he was intoxicated at the time.

READ MORE: Stats show violent crime in Prince Rupert drops overall

The Crown argued the boy was not impaired by his judgment, that his mental state showed no evidence of a disorder, and that he was old enough to understand the consequences of his actions and had therefore meant to cause harm knowing it could result in death.

The defence argued B. E. was sleepwalking.

“I went straight to my room and went to bed and fell asleep … When [S.L.] went up to her room, like, her footsteps on the stairs kind of woke me. I went up to go get a drink of water then I went back to bed then I fell asleep, kind of felt like a nightmare,” he told the court.

“I woke up and I saw so, so much blood everywhere it scared me. What scared me more was because [H.L.] was, [H.L.] was bleeding and he, his voice was calm, his voice was calm.”

The defence also argued he had no history of violence or animosity with his foster parents, and highlighted he phoned 911 right away.

Justice James Williams found a lack of evidence to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt, but that Crown had proven the offence of manslaughters.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert RCMP searching for missing woman


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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