More than 10 months after the crash that tragically claimed the life of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett, a cloud of unanswered questions hang over the community where she worked.
News last week that the Independent Investigations Office has filed a report to Crown counsel for consideration of charges against a police officer involved in the events will only add another layer of conjecture and speculation about what exactly happened in the early morning hours of April 5, 2016.
While this latest development may add to that helpless feeling of here we go again, it is important for everyone concerned with getting to the bottom of this to remember that this is an extraordinary case.
It took until Sept. 14 for charges to be laid against Kenneth Jacob Fenton, the alleged driver of the pickup that collided with Beckett’s marked vehicle at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Peatt Road on that fateful morning.
That it took five months before charges were laid speaks to the complexity of this case, which has Fenton facing a number of serious charges, including driving while impaired and flight from police causing death.
Fenton’s arraignment has already been delayed on four occasions in the past few months, in part because his lawyer, Dale Marshall has said he wants to see the IIO’s report before a plea is entered.
This latest development adds another level of intricacy that will unfold during the course of the trial.
It may take many months before Crown counsel makes a decision on whether to proceed with criminal charges against the officer. While that may be a bitter pill to swallow for families seeking closure and a community that is awaiting answers, if there ever was a time for patience, caution and understanding, it is now.
We can only begin to fully embrace the healing process once due process has run its course, however long that takes.