Supreme Court will not hear appeal by parents facing two trials in son’s death


Canada’s Supreme Court will not hear appeals in a high-profile Alberta case in which a couple was tried twice in the death of a sick infant.

David and Collet Stephan were accused of not seeking immediate medical attention for their 18-month-old son before his death in 2012.

They testified that they were treating the boy with natural remedies for what they thought was croup.

A jury found them guilty of failing to provide basic necessities in 2016, but the Supreme Court of Canada overturned that verdict and ordered a second trial.

In 2019, a judge who tried the second trial without a jury acquitted the two.

In March 2021, the Alberta Court of Appeal granted the King’s request to overturn that acquittal and ordered another trial.

Then, in June 2021, prosecutors stayed the charges against the Stefans, but an application asking for permission to appeal the decision at the third trial had already been filed with the Supreme Court.

As usual, the Supreme Court did not disclose the reasons for its decision.

Sean Buckley, an attorney for David and Colette Stephens, said Thursday that he would comment on the decision after speaking with the client.

In a previous interview, he said the Stefans wanted to go ahead with the application.

canadian press

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