New Brunswick

Richard Valiquette pleads not guilty of criminal negligence causing death of teen

Richard Valiquette, 28, of Saint John, has pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death in connection with the drug-related death of 17-year-old Gavin Adams nearly three years ago.

Gavin Adams, 17, was found dead in December 2013 after being missing for two days

Richard Gerald James Valiquette, pictured here on Jan. 6, 2014, is due back in Saint John's Court of Queen's Bench on Oct. 11, when his trial continues. (CBC)

A Saint John man has pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death in connection with the drug-related death of a teenager nearly three years ago.

Richard Valiquette, 28, who is accused of giving Gavin Adams a substance not intended for human consumption and in reckless disregard for his safety, entered the plea in Saint John's Court of Queen's Bench on Monday morning.

He pleaded guilty to producing N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a hallucinogenic drug.

The other two charges against him — drug trafficking and possession of a drug for the purposes of trafficking — were dropped.

Valiquette was previously charged with manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Adams, but that charge was withdrawn by consent in July 2015.

The body of Gavin Adams, 17, was discovered on Dec. 16, 2013, two days after he was reported missing. (CBC)
The body of Adams, a Saint John High School student, was found by a search and rescue crew on Dec. 16, 2013, in a parking lot in the city's north end, after a two-day search.

Valiquette was charged on Nov. 25, 2014, but has not been in custody.

His trial began on Monday with testimony from Adams' parents — David and Sonja Adams, who are both members of the Saint John String Quartet.

The trial resumes on Oct. 11 at 9:30 a.m. Justice Frederick Ferguson is presiding.

Criminal negligence causing death carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The court also heard details Monday about the drug production charge. Police executed a search warrant at his home on Dec. 16, 2013 and found four cylinders of product, later identified as DMT.

Valiquette was selling doses of between 10 and 15 milligrams, according to the Crown.

The drug production charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a mandatory 10-year firearms prohibition.

A date for his sentencing on that charge is scheduled to set on Oct. 24. A pre-sentence report is expected to be ordered.

With files from Rachel Cave