A verdict is expected Wednesday (Jun. 29) in Damien Starrett's second-degree murder trial.

The Fort Saskatchewan man is accused of killing his one-year-old son, Ares, and assaulting his young daughter in late November of 2019.

Starrett's defence argues he should be found not criminally responsible for Ares' death, claiming he was suffering from parasomnia. This sleep disorder can bring on abnormal movements, talking, emotions, and actions while a person is asleep.

Over the course of the day Ares was killed, Starrett admitted to taking six Percocet pills. He testified that he had fallen asleep on the couch and awoke to find his daughter curled up in a ball and Ares lying on the ground, severely injured.

In early June, the Crown started pursuing manslaughter charges after stating Starrett didn't possess the intent a second-degree murder charge requires. 

If Starrett is found not criminally responsible, he would be sent to a psychiatric facility instead of prison.