The two Canadian parents who are accused of allowing their 19-month-old son to die from bacterial meningitis, have finally been convicted for not providing him with the proper medical care.
According to the CBC, Alberta residents David Stephan and Collet Stephan, were charged nearly one year ago after their son Ezekiel passed away in March 2012 from the very deadly infection. The couple attempted to use “natural remedies” in favor of medical treatment from a professional and licensed doctor.
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From the CBC:
There was a gasp in the courtroom as the decision from the four-man, eight-woman jury came down. People in the courtroom’s gallery started to cry and Collet Stephan broke out sobbing uncontrollably while her husband and others rubbed her back.
The Stephans will not be held in custody at this time, but will have to return to court on June 13 when the date for sentencing will be set.
The maximum penalty for failing to provide the necessaries of life is five years in prison.
The couple lived in the southwestern corner of Alberta and regularly practiced naturopathic healing when whenever their kids got sick. When Ezekiel began showing flu like symptoms, the couple used natural remedies that included hot peppers, garlic, onions, horseradish, and a product from a naturopathic “doctor” aimed at boosting his immune system.
Guilty verdict for parents in toddler’s meningitis death greeted by gasps, sobs https://t.co/ng0TLoWXqJ pic.twitter.com/osQ4IatgD7
— CBC Calgary (@CBCCalgary) April 26, 2016
When the Ezekiel stopped breathing, the family called 911 and he was rushed to the emergency room in Lethbridge and later flown to Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. The child was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and neurological dysfunction, and on March 18, he was declared brain dead.