SIU lays charges against three police officers in relation to death of child in Kawartha Lakes
By Lindsay Advocate
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has reasonable grounds to believe that three Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers committed criminal offences in relation to the death of 18-month-old Jameson Shapiro in November 2020 in the City of Kawartha Lakes. As a result, Director Martino has caused charges to be laid against each of the officers.
OPP Constables Nathan Vanderheyden, Kenneth Pengelly and Grason Cappus have each been charged with one count of manslaughter, contrary to s. 236(a) of the Criminal Code. They are each also charged with one count of criminal negligence causing death, contrary to s. 220(a) of the Criminal Code. All charges are in relation to the death of Jameson.
The officers will be required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 440 Kent Street West in Lindsay on October 6, 2022.
The matter is now properly before the courts. In consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this investigation.
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid