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Fort Saskatchewan man charged with second-degree murder in one-year-old son’s death

Murder charges laid after death of one-year-old in Fort Saskatchewan
The city of Fort Saskatchewan is in shock, after a one-year-old child died and his father was charged with murder. Sarah Komadina has more.

A 30-year-old Fort Saskatchewan man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his one-year-old son.

At 6:43 p.m. Saturday, RCMP and EMS responded to a 911 call of a one-year-old boy who was in medical distress.

Insp. Mike McCauley with the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP said the boy was taken to hospital with serious injuries where he was pronounced dead.

Global News has learned the victim is one-year-old Ares Starrett.

Fort Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating the death of one-year-old Ares Starrett.
Fort Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating the death of one-year-old Ares Starrett. Credit: Facebook

On Saturday, RCMP arrested Damien Christopher Starrett of Fort Saskatchewan. He is charged with second-degree murder.

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Starrett is also charged with assault involving another child who was present at the time of the incident, RCMP said. McCauley said Starrett is also the father of the other child. McCauley would not release any information about the child but said their injuries were non-life-threatening.

“This has been an extremely traumatic incident for the family,” McCauley said.

“It’s concerning to everyone from the families, the first responders, to the members of the public. This is a close-knit community and it’s a very, very trying time for us.

“It’s safe to say the community is shaken by an event like this.”

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The RCMP said the Zebra Child Protection Centre has also provided its expertise in the investigation.

McCauley said Starrett was previously known to police.

Fort Saskatchewan man charged with second-degree murder in son’s death
Fort Saskatchewan man charged with second-degree murder in son’s death

According to court documents, Starrett has a lengthy criminal history dating back a decade. His convictions, the latest of which was in 2012, include assault, careless driving, possession of a controlled substance, mischief to property under $5,000, tampering with a motor vehicle, attempting to obstruct justice with a bribe and a number of breaches of probation.

Starrett remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in Fort Saskatchewan Provincial Court on Thursday.

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Damien Christopher Starrett, 30, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his one-year-old son.
Damien Christopher Starrett, 30, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his one-year-old son. Credit: Facebook

The Fort Saskatchewan community is reeling following the boy’s death, and the death of a 15-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a vehicle while walking in Fort Saskatchewan Saturday morning.

“They are unrelated but at the end of the day, I can tell you that this has been a very difficult weekend,” McCauley said.

“Any time lives are lost, it’s very difficult.”

A joint vigil is being planned at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Carscadden Park in Fort Saskatchewan to remember both victims.

READ MORE: Victim identified in fatal Fort Saskatchewan pedestrian collision

Fort Saskatchewan is located just northeast of Edmonton.