A Kamloops man has been ordered to pay nearly $7 million to cover the health-care costs and lost opportunities of a teenager he nearly beat to death with a baseball bat for trespassing into his yard.
Jessie Simpson was 18 years old and weighed about 135 pounds when he wandered into Kristopher Teichreib's yard on June 19, 2016, after celebrating his high school graduation with a group of friends.
Teichrieb, who was 39 and weighed 220 pounds, had been concerned with a rash of thefts in the neighbourhood.
According to a B.C. Supreme Court judgment, the bigger man punched and kicked Simpson before beating him with a bat badly enough to cause injuries an RCMP officer described as "the worst he had ever seen, including cases where the victim was beaten to death."
"[Jessie] will likely require 24-hour care for the rest of his life," wrote Justice Sukhdev Dley, the same judge who sent Teichrieb to prison for seven years in 2018 for aggravated assault.
"Jessie can feed himself, provided his food is cut into small bites. He has some capacity to communicate, but is unable to focus or attend to most tasks unless supervised. He cannot walk and is restricted to a wheelchair. He is unable to control his bowel or bladder. Jessie requires two people to assist with getting out of bed and to attend on any physical movements. He needs to be turned every two hours while in bed in order to avoid pressure sores. Jessie does have some understanding that he is disabled."
'Robbed of the ability to lead a normal life'
The award includes $3 million for Simpson's future care and nearly $1.4 million to cover the loss of his future earnings.
Teichreib, who didn't respond to the issue of liability, is also required to pay nearly $1.5 million to cover the B.C. Ministry of Health's costs for Simpson's care, and more than $432,000 to the provincial Crime Victim Assistance program.
The judgment also included an award of nearly $400,000 to reflect the general damages Teichreib's actions have caused.
"Jessie was 18 years old at the time of his injuries. He has been robbed of the ability to lead a normal life and is now unable to enjoy the amenities of life that he would reasonably have expected," Dley wrote.
"He was a young man about to embark on the post-graduation challenges and experiences of life. Those are forever gone. Instead, he is now forever dependent on others to perform the basic necessities of life."
Attacker was angered by crime in his neighbourhood
Teichreib was initially charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. According to evidence from his sentencing, Teichrieb was angered by escalating property crime and violence in his neighbourhood in the weeks and months before the attack.
He called 911 on several occasions about suspicious activity. In one of the calls, he told police he caught someone attempting to break into his van and "chased him down and gave him a couple of smacks."
When officers arrived to the scene of Simpson's beating, Teichrieb was standing above him and told officers, "I got him."
Simpson's mother, Susanna Simpson, has been at her son's side constantly. She took a leave from her job as elders co-ordinator for the Skeetchestn Indian Band in order to care for him. She was fired when she could not commit to a firm return date, according to the judgment. The award includes $75,000 to cover the income she has forgone.
In trying to calculate Simpson's loss of future earnings, the judge speculated that Simpson most likely would have gone into roofing as a profession.
The amount has been adjusted to reflect a life expectancy doctors say has likely been cut short to 61.7 years.