The only person charged in a beating death at a Hedley concert in 2012 has been sentenced. Levi Morris was charged with manslaughter in January 2016, four years after Jason Foster died from injuries sustained at the Encana Events Centre show.
Morris plead guilty to the charge on Monday, May 7th, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison the following Wednesday. According to an agreed statement of facts, a fight broke out after Foster’s cousin bumped into one of Morris’ friends, causing him to spill beer on himself.
Both men weren’t initially involved, but Morris believed Foster grabbed him as he tried to intervene. He punched him, and hit him once or twice more after he fell to the ground before leaving.
“Those punches caused blunt force injuries to Mr. Foster’s head and neck, including to his right vertebral artery, and rendered him unconscious,” says Justice Sharma. “Jason Foster never regained consciousness, and he was declared dead after life supports were removed later that night.”
Three suspects were arrested at a bar in Dawson Creek later that night, but no charges were initially laid. In her sentencing, Sharma said she believed the incident was out of character for Morris, but noted the incident was triggered by only a petty matter.
“This was not a case of someone yelling insults, verbally accosting Mr. Morris, or engaging in any kind of aggressive or threatening behaviour toward Mr. Morris or his friends. Whether intentional or not (and the facts do state it was unknown if it was intentional), the incident of spilled beer was trivial and yet, Mr. Morris chose, with his friends, to confront Mr. DePencier about it, and the subsequent events flowed from that choice.”