Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Charges Laid after Complaint Prompts Second Investigation into Sudden Death: Man Charged in Sudden Death in Nova Scotia

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Charges Laid after Complaint Prompts Second Investigation into Sudden Death: Man Charged in Sudden Death in Nova Scotia

Article excerpt

KENTVILLE, N.S. - Amy Graves believes her brother's death wasn't just an accident -- and now the police share her belief.

RCMP in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley said Tuesday they had charged a 22-year-old man with criminal negligence causing the death last March of Joshua Graves -- almost a year after the case was initially declared an accidental death due to an overdose of a prescription painkiller.

The Mounties said Kyle Fredericks of Kentville has also been charged with trafficking in hydromorphone, the generic name for the controlled substance also known by its brand name, Dilaudid. He is scheduled to appear in Kentville provincial court on April 2.

Amy Graves said she felt a great sense of relief when she heard about the charges.

"I'm just happy that this day is finally here," she said in an interview. "I have a little peace of mind that Josh's death wasn't in vain and, hopefully, this will prevent future deaths."

Last November, Amy Graves filed a complaint with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, accusing the Mounties in nearby New Minas, N.S., of failing to properly investigate her brother's death after he attended a house party in Berwick, N.S.

Her complaint alleged police did not question anyone at the party even though some of the party-goers were believed to be taking illicit drugs.

"The answers I was getting before the complaint were: 'It's your brother's fault. It was his choice. There's nothing we can do,'" she said. "It just seems like they didn't want to take the time and that Josh wasn't worth it."

That's why she started her own investigation.

"I had 10 different statements from kids who had gone to that party, saying they saw (someone) dealing prescription medication. But the police refused to take any of the evidence."

Then she filed her complaint.

RCMP Insp. Mike Payne said there was an initial investigation and people were interviewed, but the first probe turned up insufficient evidence for charges.

However, Payne said new information emerged during the investigation of a subsequent complaint. He couldn't say who filed it because their identity is protected. …

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