A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of 5-year-old girl

The woman was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula

An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter, who showed up in hospital with brain injuries experts said were often seen in car crash victims.

The woman, who is in her 30s, was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, failure to provide the necessaries of life and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Avril Inglis said there was not enough evidence to convict her beyond a reasonable doubt on those charges.

Inglis said the manslaughter conviction was more fitting because evidence showed the girl’s severe brain injuries were caused by an assault and the only person in the home capable of inflicting them was her mother.

“The assault was forceful enough to cause a devastating brain injury, the type that is often seen in motor-vehicle crashes,” Inglis said.

“Such an intense assault upon a child’s head obviously put (the girl) at risk of bodily harm, which a reasonable person in (her mother’s) circumstances would realize.”

The judge-alone trial heard that the mother called 911 on Oct. 13, 2015, to report that one of her three children was breathing but wouldn’t wake up.

An ambulance arrived at an apartment in northwest Edmonton and took the girl to hospital, where she died four days later.

Late last year, a pathologist testified that the girl’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Dr. Mitchell Weinberg said the girl arrived at hospital with hemorrhages that were widespread in her brain. He described them as recent injuries. She also had a damaged kidney, a cut under her upper lip and bruises on her cheeks, on the back of her head, near her ear and on her elbows.

Inglis noted during her oral decision that all expert medical witnesses had varying opinions on when the girl suffered the fatal brain injury, but they all agreed they were not the result of an accident such as falling from bed, a chair or down the stairs.

Investigators’ interviews with the girl’s brother and sister, who were ages four and 10 at the time of her death, were played in court. The older sister also testified.

Inglis said the Crown’s evidence for assault with a weapon depended on the older sister’s interviews and testimony.

“(The sister) did not provide any evidence of assault until she was led to it by the interview,” Inglis said. “Her in-court testimony added nothing to this recorded statement.”

The judge said the girl was most likely sleeping when her younger sister was assaulted.

During the trial, the Crown argued the mother’s delay in calling police for her daughter’s injury proves that she failed to provide the necessaries of life.

Inglis disagreed, arguing that the woman called her father after her daughter was showing signs of injury and it was not clear how severe her symptoms were leading up to the 911 call.

“That conduct may be consistent with an inexperienced mother not knowing what to do and panicking,” Inglis said.

She noted that the woman did not try to hide evidence once police arrived and she might have been afraid to involve emergency services because of “the lengthy involvement of government agencies with her children.”

Inglis said the Crown also failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman intended to kill or seriously harm her child.

“(The woman’s) intent at the time she committed this assault on (her daughter) is unclear, but that is irrelevant to the general intent on the offence of manslaughter.”

The woman’s sentencing is expected to take place in the fall.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Edmonton murder

Just Posted

Graeme Wright is the owner of Hullabaloo, a new ice cream and coffee food truck serving patrons at the Red Barn on West Saanich. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff).
VIDEO: Cool treats, warm bevvies a specialty for new Saanich food truck

Hullabaloo owner Graeme Wright passionate about blending green space with sustainability

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Nicky Cook and Kelly Yee set up their stand at Peninsula Country Market. (Black Press Media file photo)
Peninsula farmers markets ready to welcome back patrons

Both the Peninsula Country Market and North Saanich Farm Market plan to expand offerings in the summer

The closure of Government Street to vehicle traffic between Humboldt and Yates streets began June 11. The corridor will be pedestrian-only between noon and 10 p.m. daily until at least this fall. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Downtown Victoria timed closure of Government Street begins

Pedestrian priority times part of city’s Build Back Victoria program

Workers clean off the red paint sprayed on the statue of Queen Victoria at the front of the B.C. legislature Friday. It is unclear when the vandalism took place. A protest rally against old-growth logging was happening on the legislature lawns Friday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
UPDATE: Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue base splattered with what looks to be red paint, old-growth logging protest held in afternoon

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read