Canada

Man who killed Const. Sarah Beckett pleads guilty in second drinking-driving crash

The driver who killed Const. Sarah Beckett in 2016 has pleaded guilty in a second crash on Vancouver Island that happened a month after the death of the 32-year-old Mountie.

Kenneth Fenton, facing impaired driving charges in connection with a May 2016 collision that sent his girlfriend to hospital, pleaded guilty in a Duncan courtroom on Monday morning.

With a shaved head, stubble on his face and wearing a red prison-issued T-shirt, Fenton was stared down by Beckett’s husband, Brad Aschenbrenner, throughout the proceeding.

“It was hell all over again. I just felt like throwing up,” Aschenbrenner told Global News in a phone conversation Monday afternoon.

Fenton pleaded guilty to driving over 0.08 and causing an accident resulting in bodily harm and failing to stop for police.

A truck was found in a ditch on May 22, 2016 northwest of Victoria. The truck’s passenger claims Fenton was speeding and driving under the influence when he hit the truck, causing it to veer into the ditch.

Fenton is already serving a four-year sentence for impaired driving causing the death of Beckett in Langford in April 2016.

Aschenbrenner says he had a brief but heated exchange with Fenton’s defence lawyer, Dale Marshall, prior to Monday’s hearing.

Aschenbrenner told Global News he feels the four-year sentence handed down to Fenton last July is too short.

He said he hopes Fenton’s guilty plea in the second collision will increase his time behind bars but it’s not clear if that will be the case.

Outside the Duncan Law Courts Monday morning, Aschenbrenner asked Crown attorney Tim Stokes about Fenton’s sentencing, including what the minimum would be, but didn’t get any answers.

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the B.C. Prosecution Service, wouldn’t comment on the case. He told Global News that because the case is still before the courts, he won’t speculate on a possible sentence.

When asked how Fenton is doing, his lawyer said by his appearance he is doing as well as can be expected. Marshall also wouldn’t speculate on a sentence.

A date for Fenton’s sentencing will be set on June 12.

~ With files from Kylie Stanton, Amy Judd and The Canadian Press

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