Convicted Comox Valley killer ‘needs our compassion’

Dear editor,

On hearing last summer of the dreadful incident resulting in James Denton’s death, I felt sick to my stomach.

Dear editor,

On hearing last summer of the dreadful incident resulting in James Denton’s death, I felt sick to my stomach.

Here were two boys, their lives gone, changed forever. Over the year, I have continued to be unsettled by the deep grief of both boys’ families.

In last Friday’s Record, I saw the disturbing headline: Teen convicted of second-degree murder.

More disturbing, a phrase hitting me in the gut, were those words by Denton’s uncle, describing the teen as “a lying little murderer.”

What is the purpose of publishing these personal expressions of grief? What information or insight is to be gained by quoting the hateful words of a distraught family member?

That night of July 23, 2011, was a terrible night for the boys, their families, a community. Fear plus alcohol plus weapons equals tragedy.

The knife the boy carried was a stupid decision, and the two hits to James Denton the most unfortunate in both their lives.

That Judge Goepel did not perceive fear in the boy’s carrying a knife and even acting the aggressor is bewildering: It’s the little dogs that bite more than the big ones . . . because they are afraid.

That the judge did not deem the 16-year-old, whose brain is not fully developed until 25, immature goes against current understanding of brain development.

That boy is not “a lying little murderer;” he’s a person with thoughts, aspirations, and fears, just like James Denton was. He’s a boy who made a horrible mistake.

He’s a boy who needs our compassion, not our hatred. He and his family suffer, along with the Denton family.

The news media should not sensationalize and further contribute to their suffering.

Judy Johnson,


Just Posted

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox approves 2021 tax rates

Homeowners can expect a 4.95 per cent in their residential tax rates this year

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read