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Wudrich Acquittal Appealed
February 20, 2013 permalink
Taking advantage of an oddity of the Canadian system of justice, or maybe injustice, the crown prosecutor is continuing efforts to convict Eunice Wudrich after she was acquitted by a jury in the death of her foster child Evander Lee Daniels. If her innocence stands, the province might have to explain who is really responsible for the boy's death.
Crown appeals verdict in foster child drowning death
The Crown is appealing the acquittal of Eunice Wudrich, who was found not guilty of criminal negligence in the death of a toddler placed in her care by the Ministry of Social Services.
A notice of appeal was filed in the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan Tuesday afternoon in Regina. The Crown argues Justice Neil Gabrielson erred when deciding “what constitutes wanton or reckless disregard for the life or safety of Evander Lee Daniels.”
Twenty-two-month-old Daniels died on June 8, 2010 when he drowned in bathtub at an Aberdeen foster home. The tragedy happened after Wudrich left Evander alone in the bath with about two inches of water for an unknown number of minutes while she spoke to her husband a few steps away in the home’s kitchen, in order to show him some bruises on one of the other foster children.
The drowning is “a tragic and heartbreaking event” that should serve as a warning to all parents and child-care workers, Gabrielson said in delivering the not-guilty verdict on Feb. 1.
Source: Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Addendum: The appeal has been dropped. So on the record, no one is responsible for the death.
Appeal dropped in toddler death
The father of a toddler who died in foster care says he’s been told the Crown is not going to proceed with an appeal of the case.
In January, Eunice Wudrich was found not guilty of criminal negligence causing death, following a trial in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench. Evander Lee Daniels, 22 months old, died on June 8, 2010, when he drowned in a bathtub filling with scalding water at an Aberdeen foster home.
The Crown filed an appeal of the verdict with the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in February, but Chris Martell, the father of Daniels, said Tuesday he’s been told the Crown decided it did not have the grounds to go ahead with the appeal.
“On behalf of me and my family, we’re just real shocked that the appeal is not going through, just as we were shocked the verdict was not guilty,” said Martell during a media scrum.
“There’s no closure for me or my family.”
In February, about three weeks after Wudrich, 48, was acquitted, the Crown filed a notice of appeal, arguing Justice Neil Gabrielson erred when deciding “what constitutes wanton or reckless disregard for the life or safety of Evander Lee Daniels.”
Wudrich left Daniels alone in the bath with about two inches of water for an unknown number of minutes while she spoke to her husband a few steps away in the home’s kitchen to show him some bruises on one of their other foster children.
The Crown did not prove “that Eunice’s conduct showed a wanton or reckless disregard for the life or safety of Evander,” said Gabrielson, who called the drowning “a tragic and heartbreaking event” that should serve as a warning to all parents and child-care workers.
Anthony Gerein of the public prosecutions division in Regina confirmed the Crown filed a notice to abandon the appeal on Tuesday afternoon.
He said the Crown initially believed there was a legal error, but after closely reviewing the trial transcript, decided not to proceed.
“There was no reasonable likelihood of establishing the trial judge made a legal error,” Gerein said.
Martell said he has spoken with children’s advocate Bob Pringle, who indicated his office would conduct an investigation. Pringle was out of the country and unavailable for comment on Tuesday, but spokesperson Lisa Broda said the children’s advocate’s office would look at “determining the process” for the matter now that the court case and appeal process is concluded.
Source: Saskatoon StarPhoenix