The parents of a 25-year-old man, who’s been charged with manslaughter by Edmonton police in a fentanyl overdose death, say they’re shocked that their son’s addiction problems have put him in this situation.
On Wednesday, police announced Jordan Yarmey, had been charged in connection with the death of 33-year-old Szymon Kalich.
Kalich was found dead in the hallway of Yarmey’s south side apartment building on Jan. 27. Autopsy and toxicology results showed he died of a fentanyl overdose.
“It’s just very unreal,” Yarmey’s mother Helen said. “You know, we go to sleep at night and wake up hoping it’s just a bad dream.”
Yarmey’s parents appeared at the Edmonton Law Courts Thursday to show support for their son and warn about the dangers of fentanyl.
— kendra slugoski (@kendraslugoski) October 27, 2016
According to Yarmey’s mother, Kalich had come over to her son’s place to play video games before taking drugs. She said her son went to sleep but that Kalich never woke up.
“Our son would never have meant him any harm,” she said. “All I know is when he came to my son’s residence, they were playing video games and after my son and him did what they did, my son went to sleep for a couple of days and was shocked that this had even happened.”
Yarmey’s mother said her son had sought help for mental health issues last year and she believes his inability to get help may have sparked his drug addiction.
“I think he started to self-medicate and unfortunately it got to a level where he could not control it anymore,” she said.
“He got involved with someone that convinced him he would supply his addiction if they helped him. And with his addiction being so powerful – as we all know fentanyl is- he couldn’t make the rational decision (between) right and wrong at that point.”
“Anyone that knows him knows that he will give the shirt off his back to help his friends,” Yarmey’s father George said. “He means no harm to anybody. Our heart goes out to the other family.”
Yarmey’s parents said their son shouldn’t be held responsible for Kalich’s death but added they feel awful for Kalich’s family and almost lost their son to the powerful opioid as well.
“My son had to take the responsibility of what he was doing but so does everyone taking anything,” Yarmey’s mother said. “If you don’t know what it is…it’s just very sad.”
“It doesn’t matter what the street drug is, you don’t know what you’re getting,” Yarmey’s father said.
Danuta Kalich, Szymon’s mother, suggested to Global News she didn’t agree with the Yarmeys that their son shouldn’t be charged with manslaughter.
“How can they say?” she asked. “They weren’t there.
“I think he knew what he was selling,” Kalich said, adding she doesn’t believe her son knew what he was taking.
“He was my son and I loved him so much. I miss him so much.”
On Wednesday, police said Yarmey was charged because they allege he supplied the drug to Kalich and they believe they can prove he knew the drug was likely to cause harm. He was charged with trafficking drugs in connection with the Jan. 27 incident but has yet to defend himself in court on that charge.
Police did not say if Kalich knew he was taking fentanyl. With files from Global News (km)