Canadian man who owned python that killed boys to be charged with negligence causing death

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FREDERICTON, New Brunswick — The lawyer for the man arrested in connection with the deaths of two young Canadian boys killed by a python said Friday his client is facing two charges of criminal negligence causing death.

Leslie Matchim said Jean-Claude Savoie has yet to be charged but will appear in court in Campbellton, New Brunswick, on April 27 to face those charges.

Matchim said Savoie was arrested Thursday in Montreal and released from custody. He said the nature of the charges is disheartening but Savoie is holding up well.

Four-year-old Noah Barthe and his six-year-old brother Connor were found dead on Aug. 5, 2013, after an African rock python escaped its enclosure inside Savoie's apartment in Campbellton, where they were staying for a sleepover.

Police said at the time that the 45-kilogram (100-pound) snake escaped a glass tank through a vent and slithered through a ventilation pipe, but its weight caused the pipe to collapse and it fell into the living room where the boys were sleeping.

Autopsies concluded that the boys died from asphyxiation.

African rock pythons have been banned in New Brunswick since 1992 unless a permit is obtained.

Only accredited zoos can obtain such a permit. The apartment was above an exotic pet store.

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