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Trial underway for Calgary mother charged in death of disabled daughter
Published Tuesday, September 5, 2017 12:41PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 5, 2017 6:42PM MDT
The first paramedic team to respond to a Woodbine home where a 38-year-old woman was found dead in 2016 testified at the trial for the victim’s mother on Tuesday.
Patricia Couture, 70, was charged with criminal negligence causing death after her daughter Melissa, who suffered from cerebral palsy, was found dead in the family home on Woodridge Close S.W. on April 26, 2016.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Melissa lived with severe mental and physical disabilities, including hearing loss, visual impairment and stiffness in her extremities. Her mind was that of a three or four-year-old and she was completely immobile.
During the first day of the proceedings, court heard from first responders who said Melissa appeared to be quite emaciated and unresponsive.
The paramedics said that the home had a pungent smell that was likely a combination of feces, urine and decay.
Court heard that Melissa was lying on the couch on her back, that her body was cold to the touch and that she was declared dead minutes later.
They said that Patricia, who had called 911 after finding her daughter, was acting anxious and erratic.
The 70-year-old was originally charged with failure to provide the necessaries of life, but that charge was later upgraded to criminal negligence causing death.
A doctor, specializing in nutrition, also testified saying that Melissa was malnourished and weighed just 50 pounds when she died.
If convicted, Couture could face life in prison. The trial is scheduled for five days.