Defence wraps case in trial for Calgary mom accused in death of son
Defence lawyers in the trial of Tamara Lovett, a Calgary mother accused in the death of her son, called their final witnesses on Tuesday.
Lovett is charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence in the death of her seven-year-old son Ryan in March 2013.
The boy died from a strep infection that progressed to the point where a majority of his organs shut down.
Tamara Lovett had been treating Ryan with a series of holistic remedies including dandelion tea and oil of oregano at the time of his death.
She believed that he was suffering from a cold or flu.
Doctors during the trial stated that he died of ‘overwhelming sepsis and parainfluenza’ brought on by the untreated strep infection.
On Tuesday morning, the defence called their final witnesses in the case; a pair of family friends and Lovett’s father Donn.
Wendy Lees, a friend of Lovett, told the court that he saw her as an attentive mother and strove to give Ryan interesting experiences in life.
Paul Hughes, another friend, told the court that he was envious of Tamara’s capacity as a mother and her ability to interact with children.
He also said that he never saw Ryan sick in all the time he knew them.
Outside the court, Hughes told the media that he was upset by some of the things that people were saying.
"I was really disturbed by some of the things I heard people say about her as a mother and I know completely differently."
Donn Lovett said that there was never any doubt about the love the accused had for Ryan.
The last time he spent time with him was on February 10, when he took him to a hockey game.
He described him as ‘robust and confident’ and he knew that he was loved.
Donn Lovett also told the court that Ryan loved being with his mother and didn’t want to be with anyone else.
“There was never a time he expressed a desire not to be with his mother,” he told the court.
On Monday, Tamara Lovett testified before the court, saying that she gave birth to Ryan herself with an unregistered midwife originally from the Netherlands.
The boy didn’t have a birth certificate or an Alberta Health Card. She said she didn’t get him a birth certificate in order to distance him from his father, who was abusive towards her.
She also told the court that she took Ryan to a holistic clinic a number of times before his death.
She testified that she had no idea things were seriously wrong until he began slurring his words, just before he collapsed in the bathroom and began convulsing.
Tamara called 911 for help, but it was too late and Ryan was pronounced dead.
The defence wrapped up its case just before noon on Tuesday and final arguments are expected on Friday.
Justice Kristine Eidsvik will deliver a decision in the trial next year.