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Tasha Mack guilty of manslaughter in death of Edmonton toddler

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WATCH ABOVE: Tasha Mack was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday in connection with the death of Anthony Raine, a toddler found in the snow in north Edmonton in 2017. Chris Chacon reports. – Nov 29, 2019

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.

READ MORE: Murder trial hears toddler found outside Edmonton church had head trauma, bruises

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.

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“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] never showed one bit of emotion throughout her whole trial. She never cried, she never did anything. Now she’s showing emotion because she was found guilty of manslaughter… I think she’s feeling sorry for herself.”

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.

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“I was just so overhwhelmed with emotion,” she said. “I just had to let it go, not just for myself, but for everybody.

“Whatever time… [Mack is] going to get is not going to be enough. Anthony’s mother has to live for the rest of her life without her baby. Anthony doesn’t get to live. Anthony doesn’t get to celebrate Christmas or anything else.”

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.

Investigators said the cause of the boy’s 2017 death was trauma to the head. Global News File

 

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A collection of flowers, toys and stuffed animals, balloons and messages of grief is growing outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church( 15495 Castle Downs Road), where the body of 19-month-old Anthony Joseph Raine was discovered. Edmonton, Alta. April 25, 2017. Kendra Slugoski, Global News

READ MORE: Woman pleads not guilty in death of toddler left outside Edmonton church

Crier’s trial, which was separate from Mack’s, is to hear final arguments next week.

With files from Global News