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

Final phase of cardiac centre project at Kelowna General Hospital complete

New recovery rooms for centre patients at KGH completes the $381 million project

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Vernon electronics theft linked to Kelowna incident

Electronics were stolen from London Drugs in Vernon Dec. 11

Kelowna RCMP release details on a lost family photo album

The album was found deserted on Dec. 12.

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Shuswap thief nabs purse in hospital, attempts to steal taxi

Salmon Arm RCMP arrest suspect who judge orders to stay behind bars until trial

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

‘Both things are true:’ Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground

Reconciliation between Canada and First Nations is playing out not only in legislatures and courtrooms but in labs across the country

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Lower-than-expected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog, says Canada Post

The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected

Trapped B.C. crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Most Read