Recovery house operators say a recovering addict may not have become an accused murderer of his own friend if he had been ordered into treatment.

Cole Adam Manning, 40, was found dead in his Langley basement suite on the morning of Dec. 31.

His alleged killer, Jason Terrance Brewer, 24, was arrested in Langley after a brief vehicle chase and charged with second-degree murder, according to police.

Brewer was on bail at the time of the alleged murder and prohibited from using drugs or alcohol–but judges didn’t order him to get clean.

“I think there’s a good chance the system failed him,” said Gary Robinson, executive director of Trilogy Recovery House where Brewer sought treatment. “He just bounced from one place to the next. He never was probably held accountable or given an opportunity to be accountable.”

Jim O’Rourke, Executive Director of VisionQuest Recovery Society, said he knew Brewer from his time at the facility, and that he should have been placed in a stricter environment.

“He was an out of control addict that was left on the street to be more out of control, and somebody paid with their life,” O’Rourke said.

Those who knew both men said the two struck up a friendship while staying at Trilogy.

“All in all [Cole] was a good person. He tended to try to get everyone to like him,” said Mike, a former roommate of Manning’s. “They seemed like they were friends. It was a shock to hear about it.”

The pair attended AA meetings together, said Robinson. “They bonded and became good friends in a short period of time.”

Brewer had already been in 21 recovery houses when he first checked in, and was on crystal meth and bath salts as late as November, according to Robinson.

He was convicted of assault with a weapon on his mother in 2011, and received convictions of robbery and attempted suicide by driving into traffic in 2009.

Meanwhile, Cole had a steadier path to recovery.

“Cole had 11 months in treatment between two places, so he was maybe ready to go and move on with his life. Jason needed to stay longer,” Robinson said.

“Unfortunately after a month of being here he believed everything was in order and he thought it was time to move on.”

Langley RCMP pursued Brewer by car shortly after they discovered Manning’s body and using a maneuver, he was taken off the road, said Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound.

Police are still trying to uncover the motive behind the alleged killing, she said.

With files from CTV British Columbia’s Jon Woodward