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Guilty plea entered in historic fentanyl-heroin overdose case

'Anybody can stand in the witness box and say they’re sorry. I would, too, if I was facing jail time, but he’s not sorry and he would do the same thing over again,' says dead man's mother
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A guilty plea in a case involving deadly concoction of fentanyl and heroin has set a Jan. 23 sentencing date.

In a Barrie courtroom yesterday, 25-year-old Ryan Walker, who had been charged with manslaughter, pleaded guilty to negligence causing death and trafficking a controlled substance.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2019.

Shawn Kelly Jr., 23, was found dead the morning of April 10, 2017, by his mother, Denise Lane, and his sister, Megan.

Walker and a 55-year-old Innisfil man were initially charged with trafficking. 

Toxicology reports later determined Kelly's death was caused by a deadly dose of fentanyl and heroin.

When the toxicology reports came back, Walker and the other suspect were re-arrested and charged with manslaughter on Aug. 30, 2017. It marked the first time South Simcoe police officers had laid manslaughter charges in connection to a fentanyl overdose. 

On Friday, Lane read aloud to the court victim impact statements on behalf of herself, her husband and grandchildren while the Crown attorney read one from Kelly’s 17-year-old sister.

Despite Walker's admission that he sold the deadly drugs to Kelly, Lane said she doesn’t believe he's remorseful.

“We lost our child so we’re always hoping he gets more (jail time), but having him off the streets is saving someone else’s child,” said Lane.

“I’m hoping he gets whatever the Crown is putting forward," she said of sentencing. "Anybody can stand in the witness box and say they’re sorry. I would, too, if I was facing jail time, but he’s not sorry and he would do the same thing over again.”

A second person accused in the case is 55-year-old Tahir Ali of Innisfil. He has been charged with manslaughter. 

Ali's next court date is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2019, for a continuation of his preliminary hearing.

None of the allegations against Ali have been tested in court. 





Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based on Barrie
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