Conviction of Calgary couple for criminal negligence in death of toddler son upheld

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Alberta’s top court has upheld the convictions of a Calgary couple for criminal negligence in the death of their toddler son.

In a written decision issued Tuesday, a three-member Alberta Court of Appeal panel said Jennifer and Jeromie Clark received a fair trial before a Calgary jury.

Defence lawyers Alias Sanders and Andrea Serink had argued the questioning of a medical expert called on behalf of the Clarks by Crown prosecutor Shane Parker was improper.

They said Parker’s cross-examination of Dr. Anny Sauvageau should have been interrupted by Justice Paul Jeffrey during the course of the trial.

But the three-member appeal court said Parker’s conduct did not create an unfair trial for the Clarks.

They noted Sauvageau, unlike most of the medical experts in the case, had no direct contact with the couple’s son, John, before he died on Nov. 29, 2013.

“Dr. (Elizabeth) Brooks-Lim performed the autopsy and concluded, like several of the other Crown experts, that the cause of death was a staph infection caused by malnutrition,” the appeal judges wrote.

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