The sign at the Calgary Courts Centre in Calgary is shown on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Graveland

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

Jeromie and Jennifer Clark were found guilty of criminal negligence causing death

A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death of their 14-month-old son who never saw a doctor until the day before he died in hospital of a staph infection.

Jeromie and Jennifer Clark were found guilty of criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life for their son John.

The pair clasped hands as they stood in the prisoner’s dock Thursday evening.

“John would have been in Grade 1 and would have just celebrated his sixth birthday in September,” Crown prosecutor Shane Parker told reporters after the verdict.

“There is a young boy who the community lost.”

The Crown argued that John was on the verge of death when he arrived in hospital on Nov. 28, 2013, and that his parents played with his life by not seeking treatment sooner.

Jurors were shown pictures of John after he died. He had blackened toes and a red rash that covered almost three-quarters of his body.

The forensic pathologist’s report said John was malnourished and died from a staph infection.

The trial heard that John died the day after he was brought to hospital, where he had a seizure and two cardiac arrests.

The Clarks’ lawyers argued doctors at the Alberta Children’s Hospital were to blame because they raised the boy’s sodium and fluid levels too aggressively. They also argued he was neither malnourished nor septic.

Parker said it is a tragedy that doctors at the Alberta Children’s Hospital were blamed for his death.

“They’re the heroes in this file and to portray them as the villains really was quite unfair for their efforts to try and save that 14-month-old baby,” Parker said.

Jeromie Clark’s lawyer David Chow and Jennifer Clark’s lawyer John Phillips declined to comment Thursday.

A sentencing hearing is expected to take place in February. In the meantime, the Clarks remain out on bail.

David Stephan, who with his wife Collet are to be tried a second time next spring in the 2012 death of their son, sat in the gallery with a notebook during the Clarks’ trial.

He posted several Facebook videos from outside the courthouse decrying what he sees as the unfair treatment of the Clarks.

The Stephans were found guilty in 2016 of failing to provide the necessaries of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died from meningitis, but the Supreme Court of Canada overturned their conviction and ordered a new trial.

Their first trial in Lethbridge, Alta., heard evidence that they treated the boy with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than take him to a doctor. The Stephans eventually called 911 but the toddler died in hospital.

The high court said the judge did not properly instruct jurors on what would be a marked departure from reasonable behaviour “in a way that the jury could understand and apply.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE/VIDEO: Heavy police presence after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

On Cooking: Yes, I eat meat

I recognize the fact that we as people are not all the same.

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Mission house blaze

Flames can be seen rising from roof of home on Lightbody Crescent

Sports announced for Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games

18 events will attract almost 3000 young athletes

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read