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

Groups benefit from Vernon pee wee hockey tourney

Coca Cola Classic directors donate $1,000 each to Greater Vernon KidSport and Cops For Kids

Vernon pair medal at national taekwon-do finals

Brianna Li and Jack Sharkey combine to win five medals, including three gold

Okanagan College Vernon hosting trades session

Information on the trades program at OC will be available Thursday, Nov. 21, at 5 p.m.

Vernon Winter Carnival tickets on sale Dec. 6

Carnival Remembers the 60s will feature events old and new in February 2020

Rockies rally to stop North Okanagan Knights

Home team ties game late, wins 4-3 in overtime

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read