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Manslaughter charge stayed against Calgary pastor accused in death of 3-month-old son

Cyrus Nel was born in June 2015. Global News / Calgary police

A Calgary pastor says his family “can now grieve” after a charge of manslaughter against him in relation to his son’s death was stayed.

Daniel Nel was charged in May 2017 with second-degree murder in the death of his three-month-old son, Cyrus.

The baby was found at the family’s home in medical distress in August 2015. He was rushed to hospital where he died one day later.

READ MORE: Calgary pastor Daniel Nel charged with murder of 3-month-old son

After being charged with murder in May 2017, the charge was downgraded to manslaughter.

According to Nel’s lawyer, the charge was stayed “over a concern [the Crown] had with the medical evidence that may make this prosecution dangerous to come.”
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Alberta Justice also confirmed Friday the charge had been stayed.

“My wife Leah and I, along with our entire family, are relieved by this outcome which we hoped for all along,” the Nel family said in a statement sent by his lawyer.

“We are sad that our lives have been turned upside down by this allegation which resulted in losing so much. We hope and pray that this brokenness will be redeemed and our lives and reputations will be restored.”

The family said Cyrus’ organs were donated after he died.

“Our son’s memory is one of life and love,” the family said.

Nel was suspended from his position as a pastor at Rocky View Alliance Church after he was charged. Nel’s lawyer, Chris Archer, said he couldn’t speak to whether his client’s employment would be reviewed, but said the charge being dropped comes as a relief to the family.

“I think it’s been extremely stressful for them and every parent’s worst nightmare and I think they’re glad that it’s ended,” Archer said.

Nel was set to stand trial on March of this year.

The Crown has one year from the time a stay is filed to potentially reinstate the charge.

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