Spectators in a Vancouver courtroom erupted in applause Friday as Martin Tremblay was found guilty in connection with the 2010 deaths of two teenage girls who had partied at his Richmond home.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler convicted Tremblay of two counts of criminal negligence causing the deaths of Martha Jackson, 17, and Kayla Lalonde, 16.
"In all of the circumstances, I have no hesitation in concluding that he showed a wanton and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of both girls."
The girls died of alcohol and drug overdoses in March 2010 after passing out in the home of Tremblay, a convicted sex offender and a drug dealer.
The courtroom was jammed with family and friends of the two victims.
The judge also found Tremblay guilty of one of two counts of obstruction of justice for attempting to evade a police investigation.
Two lesser charges of failing to provide the necessaries of life were conditionally stayed.
The two victims were already intoxicated when Tremblay invited them and one other girl to his home and provided them with more alcohol to consume.
He also provided Martha and Kayla with a line of methadone to snort, which made them throw up and pass out.
Instead of providing the girls with medical help, he took advantage of them, sexually touching two of them.
Tremblay noticed that Kayla was having trouble breathing and should have called for medical help, said the judge.
The girls were in his charge and the failure to call for help amounted to a marked departure from the standard of care expected of an adult, he said.
Tremblay helped put Kayla into a vehicle and drove to a location in Burnaby where she was left by a roadside. Only as Tremblay was driving away from the scene did a drug associate of his call 911. Paramedics arrived and she was taken to the hospital but died.
Meanwhile, Tremblay, who had earlier gone to pay his rent while the two girls were passed out, returned to the home.
Martha was still passed out but Tremblay still did not call 911.
Instead, he watched some TV and went out to Tim Hortons restaurant several times with the third girl.
Nearly seven hours passed before a 911 call was made. Paramedics were finally dispatched to the scene but Martha could not be revived.
Outside court, Angela Lalonde, Kayla's mother, was visibly relieved at the conviction.
"There's been justice for my daughter and Martha. It's been really hard, this whole trial and everything. I'm just glad he's finally convicted."
Grant Petrygan, Lalonde's partner, told reporters that he hopes the Crown succeeds in getting Tremblay declared a dangerous offender, which would result in an indefinite jail term.
He said he wished Tremblay had remained behind bars from a prior conviction involving sex offences against underage girls.
"He should have been put on some sort of restriction to not be around kids, but that wasn't the case. This is sadly the outcome."
Kelvin Bee, a relation to Kayla, said he had to swallow back tears as he listened to the details of the crimes committed by Tremblay.
"It was hard to hear the history of how they had passed away."
He added: "We're happy but we're sad. The family still carries the grief."
Neil MacKenzie, a spokesman for the criminal justice branch, said it was possible the Crown might make a dangerous offender application but stressed that no decisions had yet been made.
Tremblay's next court appearance is March 6.
In addition, he is facing another trial in May in connection with seven sex offences involving girls aged 14 to 18.
He was convicted in 2002 of drugging underage aboriginal girls and sexually assaulting them.
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