Warning: this article contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some readers.
The prosecution has finished questioning Damien Starrett, the Fort Saskatchewan father on trial for murder.
He has been charged with second-degree murder for the death of his one-year-old son, Ares, in 2019. He is also accused of assaulting his five-year-old daughter.
On the third day of his time on the witness stand, the prosecution pressed Starrett on the details of the case.
She asked him if he had a temper, referencing the fact that he admitted to throwing a plate at a wall during an argument with his fiancée Ashton Bishop the morning Ares died. He agreed, though later said he didn't usually lose his temper and firmly stated he did not have a rage problem, even when the prosecution referenced a note from a doctor that talked about Starrett's rage.
The prosecution then confirmed with Starrett that he'd taken six pills of Percocet that day, and he wasn't sure if he'd eaten any food. Those were the last of his pills, and Starrett claimed he didn't intend to get more after that.
He was next pressed on what happened when Ares was killed. Starrett remembered going to sleep and dreaming that he was fighting off a creature in an attempt to protect his children. He said he was confused when he woke up and had moved from where he fell asleep.
"It was like I teleported," he described.
The prosecutor went over the injuries Ares sustained, using the evidence given by a medical expert earlier in the trial. The toddler suffered at least two strong strikes that severed part of his brain. His lips ruptured, and he was bleeding from his mouth and nose.
Starrett also punched his five-year-old daughter three times.
He remembered the 911 dispatcher telling him to clear Ares' of the blood before doing CPR on him. He also moved his son closer to the door during this time to try and be closer to help.
The prosecution finished by questioning Starrett about an incident he spoke of a week before Ares' death. Starrett said he fell asleep and dreamed he had lit a cigarette while walking in an unknown city, and when he woke up, he was lying in his bed, holding a lit cigarette.
When pushed, Starrett agreed that was dangerous. However, he never told anyone about this incident, including his doctor and fiancée.
The defence is pursuing a 'not criminally responsible' action, claiming he was in an automaton-like sleep state similar to this at the time of the incident, which could result in Starrett being sent to a psychiatric hospital instead of being criminally convicted.