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

golf
Golf Club agreement back before council

The document, as presented, would also commit the Town of Castor to $10,000 a year in funding

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

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

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

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

Most Read