Police tape surrounded the apartment building at 170 Carson Cres., where David Boltwood’s body was found in the alleyway behind the building on the morning of Nov. 29, 2019. (Kamloops This Week)

Police tape surrounded the apartment building at 170 Carson Cres., where David Boltwood’s body was found in the alleyway behind the building on the morning of Nov. 29, 2019. (Kamloops This Week)

House arrest for B.C. man who left roommate’s body next to dumpster

The body of Shane Brownlee’s roommate, David Boltwood, 65, was found rolled up in a carpet

  • Mar. 27, 2021 11:02 a.m.

-Kamloops This Week

A Kamloops man who disposed of his deceased roommate next to a dumpster outside his North Kamloops apartment building after hiding it inside for weeks will spend the next six months under 24/7 house arrest.

Shane Brownlee, 52, was handed a two-year conditional sentence order and six months’ probation for interference with a dead body. The sentence was delivered by Judge Ray Phillips in a Kamloops provincial courtroom on Friday (March 26).

On Nov. 29, 2019, the body of Brownlee’s roommate, David Boltwood, 65, was found rolled up in a carpet behind 170 Carson Cres.

Police initially suspected a homicide, but an autopsy later determined Boltwood died of natural causes.

Brownlee had invited Boltwood — who was homeless and had health issues — to stay with him in his apartment unit in October 2019. Brownlee said he returned home one day after Nov. 7 to find Boltwood deceased — and he panicked. He wrapped Boltwood in the rug, which he later placed in a large cardboard box, hiding the body in his apartment unit and in a storage locker before disposing of it outside with the help of a teenager, who was unaware what he was actually moving.

Brownlee then fled the province and was arrested in Jasper, Alta. He pleaded guilty to moving the body, but was adamant he didn’t kill his roommate.

Phillips found Brownlee’s judgment was clouded by extreme anxiety and other ongoing health issues, compounded by a pending eviction, his addiction to alcohol and marijuana, a fear of being blamed for Boltwood’s death and trepidation about being sent back to jail. Brownlee had served time in the previous five years for property crimes.

As part of Friday’s sentence, Brownlee will spend the next six months under house arrest 24 hours a day, with the exception of being allowed to grocery shop and attend appointments between noon and 2 p.m. He can also be out of the house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for volunteer work, with written permission, and in case of emergency. The final 18 months of his conditional sentence order has no curfew.

As part of his sentence, Brownlee must attend treatment programs as directed, refrain from drug and alcohol use, complete 50 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to Boltwood’s family.

He is also to have no contact with the teenager he recruited to dispose of Boltwood’s body.

In rendering his verdict, Phillips noted Brownlee expressed genuine remorse for his actions, has since turned his life around by engaging in treatment for his addictions and volunteer work and has been forgiven by Boltwood’s family, who did not wish to see him go to jail.

“I was struck by the words of the deceased’s brother, Benjamin, who, after hearing submissions of counsel and learning of the significant turnaround Mr. Brownlee has made, that this in some small way honours the death of his brother and that his brother would be proud of the steps taken by Mr. Brownlee to turn things around,” Phillips said.

Phillips, however, noted the severity of the offence and that Brownlee recruited a minor, who was traumatized when he later learned he helped move the body.

“Mr. Brownlee literally and figuratively discarded the dead body of Mr. Boltwood like a piece of garbage,” Phillips said.

Phillips said he felt the sentence reflected both the gravity of the offence and the steps Brownlee has made to turn his life around which, from the judge’s point of view, has been “a 180-degree shift.”

Both the Crown and defence sought conditional sentence orders for Brownlee, with prosecutor Camille Cook calling for two years, followed by three years of probation, while defence lawyer Kristjan Thorsteinson asked for six months to a year, followed by a year probation.

The maximum sentence Brownlee could have received was up to five years in jail.

Boltwood’s autopsy revealed he died of complications from emphysema. Bed sores on his body indicated he was immobile before his death, but there were no other physical signs of injury.

crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Reuben Forsland in his East Sooke studio with the guitar he crafted from hemp wood that he hopes will start a conversation about sustainability. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
East Sooke artisan strikes a chord with custom guitars

Guitars include wood from Hendrix childhood home in Seattle

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Leon the squirrel gets a fancy snack of almonds and sunflower seeds from a well-meaning local, who really should be leaving Leon to his own foraging devices. (Submitted)
Squirrels don’t need your nuts, thanks

Consider birding instead of wildlife feeding, SPCA suggests

Island Health has extended an overdose advisory for Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health extends overdose advisory for Greater Victoria

The extension warns of an increase in opioid and stimulant overdoses in the region

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

There are lots of resources for seniors looking for information about COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
COVID questions? Here are some phone-based resources available for seniors

Here is a list of numbers to keep on hand for Vancouver Islanders who aren’t fond of computers

Chum Salmon fry being examined with multiple motile and attached sea lice on Vargas Island. (Cedar Coast Field Station photo)
Study: Tofino fish farm sea lice infestations add fuel to push to remove open pens

Ahousaht First Nation asking for higher standards than what DFO requires

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Most Read