Crown and defence in talks to possibly resolve case of parents accused of neglecting dependent adult son

Phillips, 47, and Grunewald, 52, were arrested in January and charged in connection with the care of their 27-year-old son

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The Calgary parents accused of neglecting their dependent adult son, who weighed 44 pounds when they were arrested, are in talks to possibly resolve their criminal charges, court heard Wednesday.

Defence counsel Rebecca Snukal, who acts for Malinda Phillips, asked provincial court Judge Mark Tyndale to adjourn the case until May 3, while she and fellow defence lawyer Michael Bates continue negotiations with Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh.

“This week I had a meeting with Ms. Walsh in relation to a resolution,” said Snukal, who also appeared on behalf of Bates for co-accused Jonathon Grunewald.

She said she requires a further meeting as they discuss drafting “potentially an agreed statement of facts.”

Snukal said negotiations are also being done on Grunewald’s behalf.

“We’re working toward something,” the lawyer said.

Phillips, 47, and Grunewald, 52, were arrested in January and charged in connection with the care of their 27-year-old son.

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The son was found near death last October.

Jonathon Grunewald, 52, (L) and Malinda Phillips, 47 are shown in an undated supplied image. Calgary police have charged the parents in relation to their 27-year-old son’s neglect after he was discovered on Oct. 24, 2020 unresponsive in the home in the northeast Calgary community of Falconridge.
Jonathon Grunewald, 52, (L) and Malinda Phillips, 47 are shown in an undated supplied image. Calgary police have charged the parents in relation to their 27-year-old son’s neglect after he was discovered on Oct. 24, 2020 unresponsive in the home in the northeast Calgary community of Falconridge. Photo by Supplied photo

On Oct. 24, the parents found him unresponsive in the bedroom of their Falconridge home and he was taken to hospital by EMS.

It was there that a hospital admissions staffer raised the alarm about parental neglect, said police.

They face charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Snukal did not tell Tyndale whether negotiations were in relation to a plea on one or both of those allegations, or reduced charges.

Police said the son suffers from a medical condition and was completely dependent on his parents.

“It is believed his parents failed to provide him necessary care, progressing to the point where his life was in danger,” said Staff Sgt. Vincent Hancott with the Calgary Police Service domestic conflict unit.

Both Grunewald and Phillips are free on bail and were not required to appear in court Wednesday.

The case returns to court May 3.

KMartin@postmedia.com

Twitter: @KMartinCourt

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