Trial begins for senior in death of daughter

CALGARY — A 38-year-old disabled woman who died while under the care of her 70-year-old mother had not received medical treatment for the last four years of her life and weighed just over 50 pounds when she died.

That’s what court was told Tuesday on the first day of the trial of Patricia Couture, who is charged with criminal negligence causing the death of her daughter, Melissa.

Crown prosecutor Kyra Kondro said police found dozens of notebooks in the home along with information on alternative medicine, vitamin supplements and various bottles of prescribed and herbal medicines.

A paramedic team testified the Calgary home shared by the pair had a pungent smell that was likely a combination of feces, urine and decay.

Paramedic Jill MacEachern said the daughter, who had cerebral palsy, was found lying on the couch wearing pyjamas and an adult diaper on April 26, 2016.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Melissa lived with severe mental and physical disabilities, including hearing loss, visual impairment and stiffness in her extremities.

Her mind was that of a three or four-year-old and she was completely immobile.

Court was also told the last record of her receiving medical care was from an emergency room visit in 2012 when she was having trouble swallowing.

Paramedic Amanda Myers testified that the accused, who called 911 after finding her daughter, was acting anxious and erratic.

She told the paramedics her daughter had bedsores on her tailbone that were healing.

Court also heard blood was found on her clothes and her teeth were decayed to the gumline.

Dr. Maitreyi Raman testified Melissa’s death could have been prevented had she received appropriate medical care and nutrition.

The doctor testified she was extremely malnourished, and had not appeared to have received adequate care for at least a year.

The 70-year-old was originally charged with failure to provide the necessaries of life, but that charge was later upgraded.

If convicted, she could face life in prison.

(CTV Calgary)

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Accused murderer takes stand

Jason Klaus said he had no idea his family would be killed by Joshua Frank

St. Patrick’s school modernization could include asbestos removal

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools have told staff, students and parents connected… Continue reading

Campaign renews push to make Bighorn Backcountry a wildland provincial park, ATV groups unhappy

A push to provide provincial protection for the Bighorn Backcountry area has… Continue reading

Providing more services while keeping taxes low is Blackfalds’ dilemma

Town has undergone years of above-average growth

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Update: Innisfail girl found

A 15-year-old missing Innisfail girl has been located safe and sound. Police… Continue reading

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million, auditor general says

The federal government’s chronic salary struggles will take more time and more… Continue reading

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train makes stops in Central Alberta

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month