New trial set for David and Collet Stephan

By Patrick Burles - @PatrickBurles on Twitter with files from The Canadian Press
July 9, 2018 - 11:30am Updated: July 9, 2018 - 1:13pm

LETHBRIDGE – A new trial has been set for David and Collet Stephan next year, following a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in May.

The couple was found guilty following their original trial in 2016 of failing to provide the necessaries of life for their 19-month-old son Ezekiel, who died of meningitis in 2012.

During an appearance in Court of Queen’s Bench Monday morning, July 9, defence counsel for the Stephans scheduled the four-week trial to begin June 3, 2019. They also re-elected to be tried by a judge alone, instead of judge and jury.

It was also noted that pre-trial applications and a voir dire – which will be covered by a publication ban – will run from Feb. 25–Mar. 8, 2019.

At their first trial two years ago, it was revealed that the Stephans treated their toddler with homemade remedies and didn’t take him to see a doctor when he became ill. On the night that Ezekiel stopped breathing they called 911 and took him in, but he died later in hospital.

David received a four-month sentence in jail, while Collet was given three months of house arrest.

In the Supreme Court’s ruling, Justice Michael Moldaver explained that the trial judge did not properly instruct jurors “in a way that the jury could understand… Accordingly we would allow the appeal, quash the convictions and order a new trial.”

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