October 24th, 2020

Crown appeal of Stephan’s acquittal to be heard in June

By Shurtz, Delon on January 15, 2020.

Lethbridge Herald

The Alberta Court of Appeal has confirmed a date to hear the Crown’s appeal of David and Collet Stephan’s acquittal following their necessaries of life trial last year.

The appeal, which has been expected ever since Justice Terry Clackson acquitted the couple in September, is scheduled to be heard in Calgary on June 11.

The couple was found not guilty in the death of their 18-month-old son after Clackson ruled Ezekiel Stephan did not die of bacterial meningitis as alleged by the Crown, and his parents did not know how sick he really was.

“The Stephans did not know that Ezekiel had meningitis but were alert to the possibility and monitoring for symptoms,” Clackson said during his decision, Sept. 19. “The meningitis Ezekiel had was viral and he did not die from meningitis but from lack of oxygen.”

The Crown maintains the judge based his decision on “irrelevant considerations” and erred by insisting prosecutors must prove that had the Stephans taken their son to a doctor before he stopped breathing in March 2012 after a brief illness, he would have survived.

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