Trial underway of Calgary parents accused of criminal neglect contributing to young son's death
The trial of Jeromie and Jennifer Clark, charged in connection with the death of their son John in November 2013, began Monday with accusations the couple ignored the child’s urgent and obvious need for medical attention.
In his opening, Crown prosecutor Shane Parker said the 14-month-old was withering and on death’s doorstep when he was brought to the Foothills Medical Centre on November 28, 2013.
Parker said the chid was in septic stock, suffering from a staph infection and multiple organ failures. The child was transported to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the following day
At the time of his death, John Clark weighed less than nine kilograms (20 pounds), an inflamed rash covered the majority of his body, and four of his toes were gangrene.
An autopsy determined the boy’s death was the result of the infection complicated by malnutrition. CPS officials stated the Clarks are Seventh Day Adventists who followed a belief-based strict vegan diet.
The child’s parents were arrested in December 2014 and charged with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life. Two children were removed from the family’s Calgary home and placed in a safe location.
Parker told the courtroom that John Clark was unvaccinated, had been born at home and had never visited a doctor prior to his hospital admission.
The jury trial of 41-year-old Jennifer Clark and 38-year-old Jeromie Clark is scheduled to last three weeks.
With files from CTV’s Ina Sidhu