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Crime

Parents of Alberta boy who died from meningitis thought he had cold or flu: defence

David Stephan and his wife Collet Stephan arrive at court on March 10, 2016, in Lethbridge, Alberta. .
David Stephan and his wife Collet Stephan arrive at court on March 10, 2016, in Lethbridge, Alberta. . THE CANADIAN PRESS / David Rossiter

LETHBRIDGE – The lawyer representing two Alberta parents charged in the death of their two-year-old son said the pair thought their child had a cold or flu.

David Stephan, 32, and Collet Stephan, 35, are charged with failing to provide the necessities of life after 18-month-old Ezekiel died of bacterial meningitis and a lung infection on March 13, 2012. Both have pleaded not guilty.

It’s alleged the Stephans turned to natural remedies to treat their son.

READ MORE: ‘By far our sickest patient’: doctor testifies in case of Alberta boy’s meningitis death

Ezekiel Stephan was 18 months old when he died of meningitis.
Ezekiel Stephan was 18 months old when he died of meningitis. Prayers for Ezekiel/Facebook

During his opening statement on Wednesday, defence lawyer Shawn Buckley told the jury Ezekiel appeared to get better at times during the two and a half weeks he was ill.

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Buckley said the jury will hear from Collet Stephan, who will testify she was in shock when Ezekiel began having breathing troubles, and called 911 when he showed serious signs of illness.

Buckley also indicated he plans to call a witness who saw Ezekiel playing with other children within days of being rushed to the hospital.

The trial has been adjourned until April 11.

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