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Christopher Lamarche found guilty of manslaughter in death of infant son

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WATCH ABOVE: A man accused of murdering his infant son has been found guilty of a lesser charge. Sarah Komadina has the details – Jan 4, 2022

WARNING: The details in this story are graphic and may be disturbing

After being delayed last month due to COVID-19, a man accused of murdering his infant son was found guilty of manslaughter.

Christopher Lamarche, 27, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his six-month-old son Jarock Humeniuk.

On Tuesday, Justice Sterling Sanderman found him not guilty of murder, but instead of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Read more: Edmonton man charged in 2017 death of his six-month-old baby boy

The defence initially asked a Gladue report, but later rescinded the request.

A Gladue report is a pre-sentencing and bail hearing report that Canadian courts can request when they’re considering the sentence for an offender of Indigenous ancestry.

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Sentencing is set to take place on Jan. 20, the defence told Global News.

Read more: Gladue report not an ‘easy out’ loophole, says Indigenous leader

During the trial, court heard in closing arguments that the case, which dates back to 2017, relies on a confession obtained in an undercover police operation.

The crown alleges the father strangled, bent and shook his son while watching him in May 2017.

Autopsy results found the baby boy had bruising around his neck, broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

An undated photo of Jarock Humeniuk.
An undated photo of Jarock Humeniuk. Supplied

But no charges were laid for more than two years, until police launched a Mr. Big sting: a tactic used by law enforcement to get suspects to confess to major crimes like murder.

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During a Mr. Big operation, undercover officers will pose as members of a criminal organization. Over time, the suspect is asked and paid to do tasks for the fictitious gang as the officers slowly and secretly gain the person’s trust.

In most Mr. Big stings, these encounters will lead up to a meeting with the crime organization’s boss. At that point, the suspect is asked to confess anything that could require a cover-up and in exchange, they’ll be permitted to join and receive protection from the criminal organization.

Read more: How do Mr. Big sting operations work

Court heard Lamarche admitted to the undercover officers that he had choked, bent and shook baby Jarock — at one point even re-enacting what happened.

Lamarche was arrested in July 2019 and in a subsequent interview with police, he said, “It wasn’t something about jealousy, it wasn’t anything like that.

Read more: Edmonton police homicide unit has ‘formally taken over’ infant death investigation

But the defence calls the confessions murky and halting, saying that Lamarche’s story kept changing and that this motive doesn’t make sense.

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His lawyer added there were five other adults in the house the night Jarock died, and no one reported hearing a baby crying.

A decision in the case was previously expected the morning of Dec. 21, 2021, but was held over due to quarantine at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

— with files from Meaghan Craig and Sarah Ryan, Global News

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