On July 2, the family and friends of Carson Crimeni were at the Walnut Grove Skate Park, putting up signs calling for Justice for Carson.
The teen, who died in 2019 of an apparent drug overdose, would have turned 16 on that day. Instead of a celebration, his family was asking again when a police investigation into Carson’s death would produce any criminal charges.
On Thursday, Sept. 16, they got their answer, when a 20-year-old man was at last charged in an investigation that had stretched on for two years.
Carson Crimeni was 14 when he died on Aug. 14 in a park near the Walnut Grove Recreation Centre and the nearby high school.
His sudden death was compounded when it emerged that video of Carson, so intoxicated he could barely speak, had been shared on social media earlier that day by other youths. People could be heard laughing at the boy in the background of the videos.
Carson’s family believed he had been given a large amount of drugs by someone at the skate park. They described the boy as gregarious and trusting, someone who just wanted to be liked.
Langley RCMP launched an investigation and spoke to dozens of witnesses, taking in many tips from the public.
But by July of this year, Carson’s father Aron and grandfather Darryl were wondering if there would ever be charges.
“They continue to tell us that they’re working on it,” Aron said.
He said he wanted the Crown prosecutors to understand that the long delay was sending a bad message.
“You’re sending out a message that this is acceptable behaviour,” he said.
It was a little over two months later that charges were finally laid.
The 20-year-old was charged with manslaughter. Since he was under 18 at the time of the offence, he is to be tried as a juvenile offender and his name cannot be published.
However, teens charged with manslaughter can be sentenced as adults – judges are legally required to give serious consideration to such a sentence.
According to Crown prosecutors, a preliminary inquiry in the case will likely be held next summer. A judge will then make a decision on whether the case moves to a full trial.
Carson’s father Aron and grandfather Darrel have been attending even the early, brief hearings that have taken place between October and December.
“I’ll be there every day,” Aron told the Langley Advance Times shortly after charges were laid.
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