The Crown is requesting a manslaughter conviction for Damien Starrett.
The Fort Saskatchewan man is accused of killing his one-year-old son Ares and assaulting his five-year-old daughter in November of 2019. He was originally facing second-degree murder charges.
Starrett's defence claims he was in a state of automatism and incapable of comprehending his actions when he attacked his children. Starrett’s defence is pursuing a not criminally responsible action which could result in Starrett being sent to a psychiatric hospital instead of being criminally convicted.
The 33-year-old admitted to being on a variety of pills and heroin during the incident.
“This is a man that struggled, this is a man trying,” Rory Ziv, Starrett's defence laywer said in Friday’s (June 3) closing arguments. Adding he believed Starrett didn't act violent towards his children in the past and did seek help.
The Percocet pills could have left Starrett too intoxicated to have the intent the second-degree murder conviction requires, the Crown said.
“There doesn’t seem to be a real motive for this crime. However, following the commission of an offence there can be a motive to reinvent how it happened.”
The jury for the case was released a few months months ago -- the judge is expected to give his ruling on June 29.