Alberta’s top court has upheld the conviction of a Calgary man found guilty of manslaughter in his grandson’s death.
A judge sentenced Allan Perdomo Lopez last year to nine years in prison.
His trial heard that he brought his grandson, Emilio Perdomo, from Mexico to Canada for what the boy’s mother thought would be a better life.
But the five-year-old died of a traumatic brain injury in 2015, five months after his arrival in Canada, and court heard evidence he had been subjected to months of physical abuse.
Perdomo Lopez sought an acquittal or a new trial on the grounds that the trial judge did not quash a direct indictment and that his charter rights to a timely trial were violated.
Three justices with the Alberta Court of Appeal unanimously decided that the lawyer for Perdomo Lopez did not demonstrate any error warranting intervention and dismissed his appeal.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark 2016 Jordan decision set a presumptive 30-month time limit for cases heard in superior courts.
The Appeals Court justices noted that the defence has a responsibility to help move their cases through the courts in a reasonable time.
“Unfortunately, this guidance and the trial judge’s cautions were not heeded by trial defence counsel in this case and his inefficiencies further contributed to the delay and complexity of the case,” the judges wrote.
They note it was a complex case that included a year’s worth of police intercepts that needed to be translated from Spanish to English and 1,500 pages of medical records.
“The trial judge cited and applied the correct law and the record supports the trial judge’s conclusion that the nature of the evidence and the related issues justified the time taken to complete this trial.”
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