The mother and stepfather of six-year-old Dontay Lucas have pleaded guilty to his manslaughter, more than five years after the boy was found in medical distress in the woman’s home in Port Alberni.
RCMP originally charged Rykel Frank — also known as Rykel Charleson — and Mitchell Frank with first-degree murder last year in relation to the boy’s March 2018 death.
Dan McLaughlin of the BC Prosecution Service says the pair pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in a Port Alberni court on Monday.
He says a sentencing hearing will be held on May 16 and 17.
When RCMP announced the murder charges in May of 2022 they said it was a tragic investigation that affected many people, including Dontay’s classmates.
Police said at the time it was a complex investigation, but wouldn’t say what led them to a charge of first-degree murder, which implies planning and intent.