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Morinville woman found not guilty in death of foster child

By: Amy Crofts

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 01:06 pm

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A Morinville woman was found not guilty in the manslaughter of a 20-month-old foster child that died in her care in March 2010.

Christine Laverdiere, 38, was acquitted of the charges in an Edmonton courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

She was accused of manslaughter after the toddler - whose identity is banned from publication – stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest in her Morinville home. The child died at the Stollery Children's Hospital two days later.

The Crown's position stated that injuries to the child's brain found in autopsy, were inflicted by Laverdiere.

In her decision, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Mary Moreau cited evidence presented by expert forensic pathologists that cast doubt on the claims. They noted the child's brain bleeds could have been caused by vomit blocking the child's airway before, during or after seizure, an extended oxygen deprived state and prolonged resuscitation efforts.

"I am left with reasonable doubt as to whether (the child) died as a result of non-accidental abusive head trauma caused by Ms. Laverdiere," said Moreau.

Laverdiere did not wish to comment on the decision.

More to come...


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