*Edited: A previous version of this story mistakenly reported that the accused pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Owen Dale Charpentier has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Keith Baldwin in the downtown Chilliwack area just over two years ago.
The 25-year-old prolific offender was accused of shooting the 27-year-old Baldwin in the head on Oct. 22, 2019 in the area of Yale Road and Fletcher Street.
When the 27-year-old Baldwin was found by a security guard that night, he was alone. He wasn’t yet dead but he then kept alive on life support for a short period of time so that friends and family could say goodbye.
A six-day preliminary inquiry was held in B.C. Supreme Court last summer in advance of a trial. But Charpentier instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
He appeared in court in Chilliwack on Monday (March 7) via video link to schedule a sentencing hearing. His lawyer said there had been a scheduling conflict and she was going to ask for a delay, but told Justice Warren Milman that had been resolved.
But then Charpentier spoke up.
“Can we actually put it off for two months?” he asked. That led to a delay in the proceedings so he could talk to his lawyer. The matter is now on the court list for March 21 for a hearing. It’s unclear if that will be a sentencing hearing or a hearing to ask for a delay.
Charpentier and his two brothers are extremely well known to police all the way from Chilliwack to Surrey each with many convictions. A reliable source in Chilliwack said both Owen and his brother Andrew are drug dealers connected to the Red Scorpions.
Andrew was also in court also on Monday facing charges related to thefts from victims of November’s flooding in Abbotsford. The elder brother Andrew, born in 1991, is also a known firearm thief from Alberta.
A third brother Adrian, 24, has an extensive criminal record, mostly in Surrey, but one that is as lengthy as his brothers.
As for Owen, he was already behind bars facing the murder charge when he was sentenced a year ago in Chilliwack provincial court on March 4, 2021 to time served for the robbery of a man in the downtown area in 2019.
Charpentier’s lawyer and Crown counsel issued a joint submission of 18 months jail followed by two years probation for the robbery incident that occurred just six days before the homicide of Baldwin just a few blocks away.
On Oct. 16, 2019, Charpentier approached Kyle Wall who was on a scooter. Charpentier pulled out a can of bear spray and demanded Wall get off the scooter. A man with him had a machete, and the two of them along with a young woman brought Wall to a nearby abandoned house where he was held against his will.
Charpentier demanded Wall’s watch, a necklace, cash, an iPod and the scooter. One day later, he was arrested and charged with robbery, unlawful confinement, and kidnapping.
During that sentencing, the court heard that Charpentier’s criminal life began in 2017 after he came to Chilliwack and started doing drugs including cannabis, cocaine, and crystal meth. Before that he was living in Alberta working in the oil industry.
He has an extensive criminal history in just a few short years, and has also been in the news as a victim of assault by another prolific offenders.
After the killing of Baldwin, the RCMP used a shorthand often used to allay public fears to describe the victim as “known to police.”
But friends and family were upset by the label as an oversimplification that lumps in gang members with anyone with a criminal record.
Baldwin’s wife talked to The Progress after his killing, describing Baldwin’s tumultuous teen life and troubled years, as well as his kindness and his hard work to change.
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