The man charged in connection with the death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett last April has pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death.
Kenneth Jacob Fenton, known as Jake Fenton, entered the pleas in front of a provincial court judge at the Western Communities courthouse Thursday morning.
Fenton, 29, was facing a total of five charges stemming from the April 5, 2016 crash that killed the 32-year-old Mountie and mother of two young sons. The other charges, including flight causing bodily harm or death, causing an accident resulting in death, and accident resulting in death, will likely be stayed.
“The Crown has control over those charges, the Crown will deal with them after sentencing, I expect that that’ll be the end of the matter,” Fenton’s lawyer Dale Marshall said.
Fenton’s court appearance Thursday was his first after originally being charged in September 2016 and came after a series of delays.
Beckett’s husband, Brad Aschenbrenner, issued a statement last month saying he and his family were distressed by the length of time it was taking for Fenton to face justice.
Fenton left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.
The maximum sentence for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years, the maximum for impaired driving causing death is life in prison, and there is no mandatory minimum sentence for either.
Lawyers won’t confirm if Fenton took a plea deal, but admit the two sides have been negotiating since early on in the court proceedings.
“Today’s development is the result of resolution discussions which have been ongoing since the early stage of these proceedings since the matter is still before the courts it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to go into those discussions in any details,” Dan McLaughlin, Crown Counsel spokesperson, said.
A date for Fenton’s sentencing will be set June 6.