A 17-year-old youth charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of an 18-year-old male is pleading not guilty.
The youth, whose name can’t be released in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was set to appear in Coronation provincial court Jan. 11. The youth didn’t appear in court and a lawyer on his behalf said a not guilty plea will be entered.
The lawyer asked the court that the matter be set over until Feb. 9 for election and plea adding that at this time he will be pleading not guilty.
The defence said he had received significant disclosure and had not had a chance to review the information yet.
In addition, he said the Feb. 9 court date may not be needed and the matter be resolved by then depending on upcoming discussions with the crown.
An Edmonton provincial court media contact, however, said on Jan. 15 when contacted, that because it is a youth file there are limitations to what information they are able to provide and couldn’t comment.
According to RCMP, the victim, Jeffrey Smith, 18, was taken to Coronation hospital on Oct. 14, 2017, suffering from a gunshot wound to his head. Smith was flown to by STARS to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton and died Oct. 18.
Coronation RCMP and RCMP Major Crimes Unit – South investigated and charged a 17-year-old male with manslaughter. The youth was released on his own recognizance and appeared in Coronation court Dec. 8.
According to investigators, the shooting occurred on a rural road outside of Coronation.
The victim, Jeffrey Smith, was born Aug. 24 in Stettler and grew up in Coronation. He was described as an outgoing, kindhearted boy who liked to farm, hunt, fish, dirt bike, mechanics and the outdoors. Jeffrey enjoyed helping his dad on the family farm.
After graduating Jeffrey had just started working for Future AG in Coronation, apprenticing as a heavy duty mechanic.
Growing up Jeffrey participated in 4-H, air cadets, baseball and hockey.