Two key witnesses of the ongoing Fort Saskatchewan murder trial testified this week.
A 33-year old man is being charged with second-degree murder in the death of his one-year-old son as well as assaulting his daughter. Names are being withheld due to a publication ban protecting the identities of the children involved.
The mother of the victims took the stand on Wednesday (Mar. 16). She spoke of an argument she and the accused had the night before when she learned he had taken out $200 on her debit card for small purchases, including cigarettes.
Finances were tight and it was a big point of tension between the couple.
"I told him I couldn't do it anymore," she said.
She was at work that Saturday afternoon in November of 2019 when her husband called her in a panic, saying their son was dying and she needed to come home right away.
She rushed back and started doing CPR on her baby before the paramedics came and took him away.
"I tried, but I'm pretty sure he was already gone," she said.
The accused's now seven-year-old daughter testified the following day. She was there at the time of her brother's death and gave a statement to police the day after it happened. That interview was played in the courtroom.
In the video, the little girl said she and her dad were sleeping on separate couches while her baby brother played on the floor. She then described her dad getting up and starting to kick, punch and throw the infant.
Then the girl's father then turned his attention to her.
"He punched me in the head and cheek," she said. "Three times."
After that, she said her father said he was sorry.
When cross-examined, she said when her father stopped attacking them, he woke up and asked her what happened.
She said her reply was, "Daddy, you hit him! You hit him."
At the beginning of the trial, the father pled not guilty. His lawyer told the jury that his client had killed the little boy, but was not aware of his actions because he was in an automaton-like sleep state.
The trial is scheduled to last another five weeks.