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

Pictured here are Stettler-based band The Jazz Guys, who are launching this season’s Entertainment in the Park series at West Stettler Park on June 24th. photo submitted
Stettler’s The Jazz Guys to launch ‘Entertainment in the Park’ season June 23rd

This year’s festivities will consist of the following 10 free concerts

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Stettler town hall
Town approves Canada Day fireworks show, using phase two health restrictions

The funding for the fireworks show has already been allocated

Castor Evangelical Missionary Church Pastor Brent Siemens, celebrating five years in Castor, reflects on the journey that brought him to the community. Kevin J. Sabo photo
Castor pastor celebrates five years of serving the community

Brent Siemens is the pastor of Castor’s Evangelical Missionary Church

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Most Read