Trial begins for woman accused in death of Maple Ridge teen

Danielle Raymond, left, sister of Shannon Raymond, and her mother, Julie, walk back to court in New Westminster Monday afternoon during the trial for Victoria Turley, a woman charged in connection with her death. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Danielle Raymond, left, sister of Shannon Raymond, and her mother, Julie, walk back to court in New Westminster Monday afternoon during the trial for Victoria Turley, a woman charged in connection with her death.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

A 911 call made during the last minutes of a teenage girl’s life was played in court Monday during a trial for a woman charged in connection with her death.

Victoria Turley made the call at 6 a.m. on July 26, 2008, after finding 16-year-old Shannon Raymond unconscious in her former home on 119th Avenue in Maple Ridge.

Turley faces one count of failure to provide the necessities of life in connection with the death of Shannon – a charge laid under a rarely used section of the Canadian Criminal Code.

Police allege Shannon was in the care of the accused and was in medical distress, which Turley failed to address.

“She took ecstasy,” a frantic Turley tells a paramedic on the phone, and is then directed to lie Shannon flat on her back and begin CPR.

Turley relays the paramedic’s instructions to her boyfriend, who performs chest compressions and CPR on the unconscious girl, but gets no response, despite trying twice.

“She is cold,” Turley tells the paramedic, who assures her help is its way.

The 911 call brought Shannon’s mother, Julie Raymond, to tears in court.

“Nothing can prepare you for a 911 tape of people trying to breathe life back into your daughter,” Raymond said outside New Westminster Supreme Court when the trial broke for a lunch break.

“My sister was vibrant, energetic and friendly,” said Shannon’s sister, Danielle Raymond, who was dressed in purple - Shannon’s favourite colour.

Shannon took ecstasy during a birthday celebration held on a “party bus” the night before.

She died from complications after consuming the club drug, a substance she had possibly tried for the first time that night.

Turley is not accused of supplying ecstasy to the teen.

Crown prosecutor Jay Fogle expects to call 20 witnesses during the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.

He said if Turley had called for an ambulance, Shannon would have likely survived.

But Richard Cassia, a friend of Turley who was at her house on the night, indicated the teen was checked on by adults. He was summoned by Crown to testify.

Turley was hosting her birthday party that evening, attended by eight to 12 adults. They had been drinking. Cassia described himself as “hammered.”

He said he noticed Shannon arrive at the house after midnight on July 26 with Turley’s teenage son Spencer and two other girls.

“She was intoxicated,” he told the court, noting that Shannon need help walking to the house. Shannon was later taken to a bedroom, where she was put on a futon, propped up by pillows and towels.

Cassia said before he left Turley’s house around 3 a.m., he felt Shannon’s foot and hand to make sure she did not have a fever.

He told the court he looked over at Shannon’s friends and said “make sure you take care of” her.

Turley’s lawyer, David Milburn, asked Cassia if there was anything wrong that led him to believe an ambulance should be called.

“You were of the view that this was a young person who drank to much?” said Milburn.

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