The trial of a man charged in the alleged murder of a 22-month old boy has come to an abrupt end after the sudden death of the accused.

The trial of a man charged in the alleged murder of a 22-month old boy has come to an abrupt end after the sudden death of the accused.

Allen Beardy, 25, was charged with second-degree murder in the August 2018 death of Drake Catcheway, his then-girlfriend’s son.

The trial began in February and had been hearing testimony in fits and starts. It was set to resume last month before Beardy was killed in a motor-vehicle collision.

"Obviously, as a result, the Crown is no longer in a position to proceed and we are entering a stay of proceedings in the matter," Crown attorney Michelle Bright told Queen’s Bench Justice Ken Champagne at a brief hearing Tuesday morning.

Defence lawyer Bruce Bonney called Beardy’s death "a sad end to a sad story."

During the trial, the court heard paramedics were called to Beardy’s mother’s Idlewild Bay home shortly before 11 p.m. and found Beardy in the living room performing CPR on the child.

Paramedics were unable to revive the boy and rushed him to Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In a subsequent police interview, Beardy told investigators Drake had fallen on his head three times that day: once as he and the boy’s mother were packing to leave for his mother’s house, a second time when he fell off a bed and a third when he was jumping on a couch.

Police arrested Beardy a month later, saying the boy died from blunt-force trauma to his upper body.

April Thompson, Drake’s mother, testified at trial Beardy made no mention of Drake hurting himself until after paramedics arrived.

SUPPLIED</p><p>Drake Catcheway with mother, April Thompson.</p>

SUPPLIED

Drake Catcheway with mother, April Thompson.

Thompson told court she, Drake and Beardy arrived at the Maples home of Beardy’s mother sometime before 10 p.m. with the intention of spending the night.

Thompson said she was in the kitchen washing dishes around 10 p.m. when Beardy took Drake to the basement to put him to bed.

Thompson said Beardy returned a few minutes later and they started watching a movie in the living room. After a few minutes, Beardy said he was going downstairs to change for the night, but returned minutes later wearing the same clothes, Thompson said.

"I said ‘I thought you were going to change?’ He said, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s why I went downstairs.’"

Beardy went to the basement a third time, returned a couple of minutes later and "said he was worried about a bump on Drake’s head," Thompson said. "I said, ‘What bump?’"

Thompson said she found Drake on a mattress not breathing.

"I saw my son sleeping in the corner," she said. "I tried to wake him up and he wasn’t waking up."

Thompson said she called 911 before Thompson’s sister, who arrived at the house with her boyfriend minutes earlier, took over the call.

"Allen brought (Drake) upstairs," she said. "He laid him down and started doing CPR on him. I’m not sure he knew how."

Thompson said she continued to see Beardy off and on for the next month, not thinking he had anything to do with Drake’s death, she said.

But Beardy changed, she said.

"He was different, he was being aggressive, he was drinking more," she said.

After Drake’s funeral, family members told Thompson of a cut to his head she hadn’t noticed before.

"I didn’t think anything of it until my cousin accused (Beardy) of hurting my baby," she said.

When Thompson confronted Beardy with the allegation, "he wasn’t willing to discuss it," she said. "He got mad and just walked away."

dean.pritchard@freepress.mb.ca

Dean Pritchard

Dean Pritchard
Courts reporter

Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.

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