Mother of Baby M pleads guilty to manslaughter
Watch above: An Edmonton mother pleaded guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault, and failing to provide the necessities of life in connection to the death of her two-year-old daughter.
EDMONTON – The woman charged in the starvation death of her two-year-old daughter pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday.
The girl and her twin sister — referred to in court as Baby M and Baby S — were found suffering from injuries and severe malnourishment in their parents’ Edmonton home in 2012.
Using an interpreter, the mother also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of Baby S, and failing to provide the necessaries of life for both girls.
The woman – who cannot be named to protect the identities of her surviving children – was convicted on all four counts.
Her second-degree murder trial was scheduled to start in October. Her sentencing will happen later.
On June 11, the twins’ father was sentenced to 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
He will serve 12 years, because of credit for time already served.
When the girls were found, Baby M weighed just 13 pounds. She went into cardiac arrest and slipped into a coma in hospital.
According to the Agreed Statement of Facts, an expert pediatrician noted “it is very clear that she is PROFOUNDLY MALNOURISHED and has evidence of blunt force cranial trauma which is NOT adequately explained.”
A police officer also noted that Baby S – who was 2 years and 3 months old – was dressed in a sleeper designed for a 6-9 month-old baby.
The Agreed Statement of Facts details that a pediatric neurologist consulted when the twins were admitted to hospital assessed that Baby M was “unlikely to survive this degree of injury,” and described her CT scan as showing global atrophy of the brain.
“The clinical evidence supports a severe, permanent, extensive, predominantly irreversible brain injury.”
Her parents fought for several months in court to keep her on life support.
However, two Alberta courts agreed that Baby M should be taken off machines as per the advice of doctors and the Supreme Court refused to step into the debate.
The Agreed Statement of Facts also detailed how medical staff notified Child and Family Services that the other twin girl, Baby S, got very upset when her parents visited the hospital.
Baby S’ chart noted “the team is subjected to [her] being upset and disrupted and traumatized on every visit and the team is having a difficult time witnessing this and wants to ensure Baby S is not subjected to this any longer, and is questioning why she continues to have visits with parents when it is so disruptive to her.”
After the couple was charged, the surviving twin, as well as a healthy older brother, were placed in foster care.
They have since been adopted.
With files from The Canadian Press
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