Monday (Mar.14) marked the start of a Fort Saskatchewan man's six-week murder trial.
After the death of his one-year-old son in November of 2019, the man, whose name is being withheld due to a publication ban, was brought up on charges of second-degree murder.
The man also allegedly injured his five-year-old daughter at the time of the incident.
The 33-year-old faced a jury at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton, pleading not guilty. The defence claims the accused had no memory of the killing due to sleeping problems and self-medicating with opioids.
Defence lawyer Rory Ziv said his client was in an automaton-like sleep state during the killing.
"One awful day in November 2019, he took a nap," Ziv said. "And in the course of that nap, he killed [his son]."
The defence's argument was that because he doesn’t remember the killing, he can’t be found guilty.
"He can't remember because he wasn't sufficiently conscious to appreciate these acts."
Much to the objection of the defence, the jury was shown images of the injuries that his child sustained at the hands of his father. One of the jurors was so disturbed the trial took a break.
The trial was followed by the testimonies of three RCMP officers who were first responders to the event. They told detailed accounts of arriving at the Fort Saskatchewan townhouse, one of them even staying with the man's child in the ambulance on their way to the hospital.
Police also talked about the events that led to him being charged with murder. According to Constable Bantle of the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP, it was the accused himself who made the call to 911.
After his child was pronounced dead on arrival, the local man's charge went from attempted murder to second-degree and he was arrested by Bantle.
A publication ban was placed on the names of the family members in the incident.
The trial ended for the day after eight hours; it will continue on Tuesday.