CALGARY – Bail has been granted to the Calgary parents charged in the malnutrition-related death of a 14-month-old boy.
Jennifer Clark, 38, and Jeromie Clark, 34, were charged on the weekend with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessities of life.
Their 14-month-old son, John, died the day after he was brought to a Calgary hospital in November 2013. Crown Prosecutor Shane Parker says if convicted, the couple could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“We take all homicides very seriously and this is a form of a culpable homicide make no mistake about that.”
Police have said the child had a staph infection that was complicated by malnutrition that made it untreatable. They said the child’s family followed strict dietary restrictions based on their faith and nutritional beliefs.
A police investigation that began as soon as the boy was brought to hospital involved experts in the fields of pediatrics, infectious diseases, neurology and dermatology.
The Clarks were released Tuesday on a number of conditions that included a cash bond of $5,000 each. The judge also specified that they are prohibited from seeing any children under the age of 14 without supervision. That includes their other two children.
They were also required to surrender their passports, to remain in Alberta and to report for fingerprinting. Court heard there was a problem with fingerprinting them after their arrest because of their religious beliefs.
The two accused appeared via closed-circuit television.
A preliminary hearing date is expected to be set at their next court appearance Jan. 30.