British Columbia

26-year-old charged with manslaughter in beating death of off-duty police officer

Police say Castlegar, B.C., resident Alex Willness has been charged in relation to the death of Const. Allan Young, who died after being beaten in Nelson in July 2020.

Police say Castlegar resident Alex Willness has been charged in relation to the death of Const. Allan Young

Const. Allan Young died on July 22, 2020, days after he was beaten during an altercation in Nelson, B.C., while he was off-duty. (Submitted by Abbotsford Police Department)

Police in Nelson, B.C., say a 26-year-old Castlegar man has been charged with manslaughter in relation to the beating death of an off-duty Abbotsford police officer in July of 2020.

On Sunday, the Nelson Police Department issued a news release saying that a charge of manslaughter was approved against Alex Willness.

Police say Const. Allan Young, 55, was attacked after approaching another man in downtown Nelson at around 11:45 p.m. PT on July 16 to try to help with a disturbance taking place on the road.

A 26-year-old was arrested after a physical altercation with Young. Police said at the time that the suspect could face charges of aggravated assault.

The two men did not know each other.

Young died on July 22, after being on life support at a hospital in the B.C. Interior for several days. 

Abbotsford police said Young had been with the department since March 2004. He had previously worked with the Toronto Police Service since 2000, after immigrating to Canada from Scotland in 1997.

Willness was arrested by Nelson police and remains in custody.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday Mar. 9.