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Alberta Appeal Court orders 3rd trial for parents in toddler’s death

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CALGARY —
Alberta’s top court has ordered a third trial for a couple originally convicted then found not guilty in the death of their ill son.

The Alberta Court of Appeal has granted a request by the Crown to overturn the 2019 acquittal of David and Collet Stephan.

The Stephans were accused of not seeking medical attention sooner for 19-month-old Ezekiel, who had meningitis when he died in 2012.

A jury convicted the couple in 2016, but the Supreme Court of Canada overturned that verdict and ordered a second trial at which a judge acquitted them.

The Appeal Court judges ruled that comments made by the judge about a chief medical examiner demonstrated “a reasonable apprehension of bias.”

As a result, the not guilty verdicts have been set aside and a new trial ordered.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.

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