A woman has been found guilty of manslaughter in the death of a toddler found outside a north Edmonton church.
Tasha-Lee Doreen Mack was originally charged with second-degree murder in the April 2017 death of 19-month-old Anthony Joseph Raine.
Raine’s bruised body was found outside the Good Shepherd Anglican Church. He had been dead for about three days. An autopsy found he died from severe head trauma.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Rob Graesser presided over the trial, which started in June. He convicted Mack of manslaughter Friday.
Court heard that Anthony suffered abuse before sustaining a final fatal blow to his head.
“If… [Mack] wasn’t the one doing it, she did nothing to stop it,” Graesser said in his decision.
“One of the two (Mack or Joey Crier, Anthony’s father) is clearly a killer and the other is a party to the assaults.”
He said it’s clear Mack was Anthony’s caregiver and had a legal duty to take action when his life was in danger.
“There’s no evidence she struck Anthony,” Graesser said. “There is ample evidence he was struck in her presence.”
“He was a happy baby,” Anthony’s aunt, Ashley Raine, said outside the courthouse after the verdict. “I just miss him so much.”
Kari Thomason, with Metis Childhood Family Services, came to court to support the family.
“There is no justice,” she said. “We don’t have a baby to hold.
Mack stared straight ahead Friday as Graesser read his decision in her case. She bowed her head, wiping away tears, as he found her guilty of manslaughter.
Kathy Hamelin, who told reporters she considers herself a “community grandmother” for families across the province, let out what she called a “buffalo yell” outside the courthouse after Mack was found guilty.
“I was just so overhwhelmed with emotion,” she said. “I just had to let it go, not just for myself, but for everybody.
During the trial, the court heard that Anthony went from being a chunky, happy baby to being “skin and bones” in a matter of months.
Mack is due back in court on Dec. 13 to determine next steps before a sentencing date.
Raine’s father, Joey Crier, was also charged with second-degree murder in the toddler’s death.
Crier’s trial, which was separate from Mack’s, is to hear final arguments next week.
With files from Global News