The Victoria woman found guilty of killing her 18-month-old daughter was scheduled for a conviction appeal hearing on Aug. 12 at the B.C. Court of Appeal.
Kaela Janine Mehl killed her daughter Charlotte Cunningham in September 2015 by feeding her the sleeping pill zopiclone mixed in yogurt, then smothering her. She also attempted to kill herself.
Mehl was found guilty of first-degree murder in October 2017 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, after a jury refused her defence that she was not criminally responsible for her actions on account of a mental disorder.
According to the B.C. Court of Appeal hearing list, Mehl was scheduled to appeal the murder conviction Monday morning on the grounds “that she had ineffective counsel.”
Mehl’s defence lawyer in the 2017 trial was Jeremy Mills, who in his closing statements told the jury Mehl did not dispute the fact she caused the death of her daughter. Mills asked jurors to recall the testimonies of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe and Mehl’s regular psychiatrist, Dr. David Yaxley.
“Both doctors shared this view, that at the time of this act, Miss Mehl’s intent-forming processes were significantly compromised,” he said.
Updates to come.