October 24th, 2020

Appeal Court dismisses appeal of Calgary couple convicted in son’s death

By The Canadian Press on October 13, 2020.

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark leave a sentencing hearing after being found guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of their 14-month-old son in 2013, outside the courts centre in Calgary, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. nbsp;Alberta's top court has dismissed the appeal of a Calgary couple who was seeking to overturn their convictions in the death of their 14-month-old son. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Alberta’s top court has dismissed the appeal of a Calgary couple convicted in the death of their 14-month-old son.

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark were sentenced last year to 32 months in prison, after a jury found them guilty of criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life.

Lawyers for the couple appealed the convictions, arguing that they didn’t receive a fair trial and that the Crown went too far in discrediting the testimony of Alberta’s former chief medical examiner.

Dr. Anny Sauvageau testified at trial that she disagreed with an autopsy that found John Clark died shortly after he was taken to hospital in 2013 because of a staph infection.

The defence argued that the boy died because of medical treatment he received at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

The Court of Appeal said in its unanimous decision that the jury had enough medical evidence to reach a fair verdict.

In the decision, released Tuesday, the court said there were at least 11 medical professionals who saw John before he died.

The jury was “entitled to conclude that John’s health deteriorated over the month of November “¦ and that a reasonably prudent parent would have sought medical attention before that time.”

The Appeal Court said the doctor who performed the autopsy concluded, “like several of the other Crown experts, that the cause of death was a staph infection caused by malnutrition.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2020.

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