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Man found guilty of manslaughter in Edmonton after confessing he attacked his son

Christopher Lamarche’s son found dead in his bassinet, with a broken collarbone and brain damage
The Edmonton Law Courts building is shown on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

A judge has ruled a 27-year-old man who confessed to undercover officers is guilty of manslaughter in the death of his six-month-old son.

Christopher Lamarche was originally charged with second-degree murder. His son, Jarock Humeniuk, was found dead, in his bassinet, with a broken collarbone and damage to his brain and ribs in May 2017.

Justice Sterling Sanderman of Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench said Lamarche’s father had testified it was Jarock’s second night spent at Lamarche’s home as the boy’s parents did not live together.

“He was a healthy, happy child who was totally dependent upon his caregivers,” Sanderman told the court.

“The injuries that he suffered that led to his death were inflicted upon him by someone. They were not accidental and certainly not non-criminal.”

Sanderman said Jarock was sleeping next to his father’s bed, while relatives of Jarock’s mother met for a barbecue and drinks outside the home the night before he was found dead.

One person who had used the bathroom in the home testified Jarock seemed fine at around 3:30 a.m. About three hours later, Lamarche called police to report his son’s death.

Two years later, Lamarche told an undercover police officer that he “blacked out” and “snapped” on his son because he was frustrated by his inability to stop Jarock’s crying that night.

“This is the only direct evidence before the court that illuminates Mr. Lamarche’s attempt as he attacked Jarock,” Sanderman noted.

Lamarche also told the officers he choked, bent and aggressively shook Jarock during the attack

Sanderman said Lamarche’s description of the attack is consistent with the injuries an autopsy found on Jarock’s body — even though the defence argued they do not “line up neatly.”

Sanderman said “one would not expect a perfect alignment” between the report and the boy’s injuries, but added he was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that they were inflicted by Lamarche based on his confession.

A sentencing date is to be set at a later date.

—Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

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