11 April 2024

Heroin killer Christopher Weaver handed jail sentence for death of Laura Crncevic

| Albert McKnight
Laura Crncevic

Laura Crncevic died from a heroin overdose after her partner, Christopher Roy Weaver, gave her the drug. Photo: Facebook.

“The dangers of heroin are well known,” a judge said when handing a jail sentence to the man who killed his partner with a fatal dose of the illegal drug on the night of their seventh anniversary.

Christopher Roy Weaver, 40, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to just over four years’ jail by the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday (11 April) for killing his 41-year-old partner, Laura Crncevic.

Justice Belinda Baker said she had a number of serious medical conditions, including kidney and pancreas transplants, and he was fully aware of her medical vulnerabilities.

The pair had begun taking heroin together before her death, although Weaver was the one who injected her, and he would also dilute her dose without her knowledge.

On 19 August 2021, the couple decided to use the drug to celebrate their seven-year anniversary, and Weaver injected himself then her. However, Justice Baker said it appeared he did not mix her heroin with water as he usually did.

Ms Crncevic collapsed 20 seconds later. Weaver began calling Triple Zero straight away but hung up before calling back after about three minutes and starting CPR under the operator’s guidance.

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Paramedics arrived to find Ms Crncevic unresponsive and Weaver distraught, yelling, “Come back to me, come back to me. Don’t die”. She was taken to hospital but was later pronounced dead.

When police arrived, Weaver admitted he injected her with heroin and that they had thrown out a Narcan nasal spray, a drug that reverses the effects of a drug overdose.

Justice Baker said three of Ms Crncevic’s sisters had told the court about their profound grief, and it was clear she was a generous, compassionate and greatly loved member of her family.

“My sister wasn’t a junkie … She didn’t deserve for this to be the final chapter of her life,” her younger sister, Kate Crncevic, said.

She claimed the family had never received an apology from Weaver and that he had refused to pass on her sister’s personal items, telling her, “You’re not getting sh-“.

Christopher Weaver

Christopher Roy Weaver, 40, pleaded guilty to his manslaughter charge. Photo: Facebook.

Weaver was born and raised in Adelaide. He worked as a greengrocer, security guard and postman before getting a disability pension. He has two children.

He has early-onset dementia and hears voices. Psychologists agreed he has opioid use disorder that was in remission, while one also said he had a low level of intellectual function.

Justice Baker said his behaviour in custody had been problematic, including abusing staff.

She said there was a need to recognise that Weaver’s actions had resulted in the loss of Ms Crncevic’s life, but she also noted he hadn’t intended for her to die or be injured.

However, while he appeared to be devastated by her death, he maintained it was an accident, had shown little insight and hadn’t expressed any remorse to her family.

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He had pleaded guilty to and was convicted of manslaughter and administering a declared substance without authorisation.

“That’s just what happens when you’re a heroin addict,” he had remarked after entering his plea.

Weaver was handed a non-parole period of about two years and one month in jail. As it was backdated to account for time served, he is eligible to be released from August 2025.

He made no visible reaction when he was sentenced, but afterwards was seen shaking hands with his legal team, Andrew Fraser of Fraser Criminal Law and barrister James Sabharwal, then called out, “Love you lots, guys”, to his supporters before he was led out of the courtroom.

“ACT Policing notes today’s court outcome and reminds the community that even small amounts of illicit drugs can be deadly,” a police spokesperson said.

“We urge anyone using illicit drugs to reach out to support services. Deaths such as this one are entirely preventable if people seek help.”

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015. You can also access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at counsellingonline.org.au and for information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, visit Turning Point.

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