It’s been more than two-and-a-half years since Anthony Raine’s body was found outside of a north Edmonton church. On Friday, one of the adults accused in the toddler’s death was in court for the lawyers’ closing arguments.
In April 2017, 19-month-old Anthony Joseph Raine’s badly bruised body was found three days after he’d been left behind the church, his small body covered with a blanket.
An autopsy determined his cause of death was severe head trauma.
Two people are accused in his death: his biological father, Joey Crier, and Crier’s girlfriend, Tasha-Lee Mack. Both face second-degree murder charges.
On Friday, the Crown argued that even if it was Crier who dealt the final blows to the toddler, Mack was still responsible for his death because she didn’t intervene or get medical help for the little boy.
Crown prosecutor Monica Sabo argued because of the bruising and blood coming from Anthony’s ear and mouth, Mack should have known the toddler could die.
“Mack had the opportunity to do something. She chose to do nothing,” Sabo said.
Representing Mack, defence lawyer Ajay Juneja said the Crown has not proven a case for the second-degree murder charge.
“The primary argument of the Crown is a failure to act. In order for that to be culpable homicide, that failure to act has to result or cause the death of the child, and in this case, I don’t think that’s been established,” he said.
Supporters who have been following the trial are frustrated by delays in the case.
Luci Johnson represents Anthony’s biological mother’s family, as the community court worker for Maskwacis.
“The justice system takes so long and there’s been so many delays.
“There’s a time and place where the families need to find closure. Our community needs to find closure. We need to start healing,” she said.
That closure won’t come for at least another two weeks. The judge is expected to give his decision Nov. 29.
“There needs to be some accountability for that little boy who was 19 months old,” Johnson said.
“He was to be loved, to live in an environment where he should thrive. He never got that.”
As for Crier, his trial is ongoing. Closing arguments in his case are scheduled for Dec. 6.