David and Collet Stephan are charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel who died in March 2012. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Judge finds Alberta couple not guilty in toddler son’s death

It was the second trial for the Stephans, who were found guilty by a jury in 2016

An Alberta couple who treated their son with herbal remedies rather than seek medical attention have been found not guilty in the boy’s death.

David and Collet Stephan were charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died in March 2012.

The official cause of death was bacterial meningitis, but a pathologist called by the defence said the child died from a lack of oxygen to the brain when he was in an ambulance.

Justice Terry Clackson spoke to the court in Lethbridge, Alta., for only four minutes before releasing his written decision.

“While it may seem odd that a parent who does nothing with a terminally ill child may not be culpable, it must be remembered that this case is about endangering life, not … any of the other offences which such callous behaviour might substantiate,” Clackson wrote.

Supporters in the courtroom cheered and Collet Stephan cried as she hugged her husband.

It was the second trial for the Stephans, who were found guilty by a jury in 2016. The Supreme Court of Canada set aside the conviction and ordered a new trial.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Alberta couple charged in toddler son’s death to learn fate from judge

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Polls now closed in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Which party will be chosen to form the next government?

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange drops by Stettler Elementary

Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner also attended the meeting

Better ways to use antibiotics on the farm

Canadian Beef Industry Conference session discusses dependence on antibiotics

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Man kidnapped while sitting in vehicle at southern Alberta McDonald’s: police

Man brandishing machete approached driver’s vehicle just before midnight on Sunday

Police charge man, woman shot by officers during Calgary military parade

Officer fired three shots when car allegedly drove on sidewalk towards two officers

Remote-controlled vehicle finds missing boater on bottom of Alberta lake

The 45-year-old man from Calgary was last seen by his wife Oct. 5

Crude-by-rail shipments fell to 310,000 bpd in August, energy regulator says

This, despite Imperial Oil CEO threatening to throttle back the company’s rail movements

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Most Read