New Brunswick

Richard Valiquette's criminal negligence trial hears from toxicologist

Saint John teen Gavin Adams may have been insufficiently aware of his surroundings after taking the drug 25i, made poor judgments and succumbed to the cold on Dec. 14, 2013, a retired forensic toxicologist testified on Friday.

Gavin Adams, 17, may have made poor judgments after taking drug 25i and succumbed to the cold in 2013

SJ Drug trial Friday

5 years ago
Duration 1:58
New details emerged in court today about the drug ingested by Saint John student Gavin Adams the night he disappeared. Toxicologists revealed the chemical was so new, toxicologists had to go online to learn more about it. 1:58

Saint John teen Gavin Adams may have been insufficiently aware of his surroundings after taking the drug 25i, made poor judgments and succumbed to the cold on Dec. 14, 2013, a retired forensic toxicologist testified on Friday.

Albert Fraser made the comment under cross-examination by Richard Valiquette's defence lawyer, who asked whether the expert could say for certain the 25i killed Gavin.

Valiquette, 28, is on trial in Saint John's Court of Queen's Bench for criminal negligence causing death in connection with the drug-related death of Gavin.

He is accused of giving the 17-year-old a substance not intended for human consumption and in reckless disregard for his safety.

Richard Valiquette was accompanied by his girlfriend Aimee Fournier (on the right) and another unidentified supporter at his trial in Saint John on Friday. (CBC)
Gavin went missing that night. Two days later, a search-and-rescue crew found his frozen body, half-buried in snow in a parking lot on Chesley Drive, in the city's north end.

Gavin's blood sample tested positive for 25i-NBOMe, NMS Labs in Pennsylvania found.

The Saint John Regional Hospital used NMS Labs because it had the expensive equipment for "exotic" testing, said Fraser.

Officials were aware the case could involve newer chemicals, he said.

Earlier in the trial, Valiquette's girlfriend Aimee Fournier testified "Ricky" told her he purchased the 25i online, put it onto blotter paper, which was then put into tin foil.

Valiquette pleaded guilty on Oct. 3 to producing DMT. Two other charges against him — drug trafficking and possession of a drug for the purposes of trafficking — were dropped.

He was initially charged with manslaughter on Nov. 25, 2014, in connection with Gavin's death, but that charge was withdrawn by consent in July 2015.

The Crown expects to wrap up its case on Oct. 19. The trial, which started on Oct. 3, is scheduled to take two weeks. Justice Frederick Ferguson is presiding.

With files from Rachel Cave

now