Crown stays manslaughter charge against former Calgary pastor in son’s death

CALGARY — The Alberta Crown has stayed a manslaughter charge against a former pastor who had been accused in his infant son’s death.

Cyrus Nel was three months old when he died in a Calgary hospital in August 2015, a day after paramedics responded to a 911 call and found him in medical distress at the family’s home.

His father, Daniel Nel, was arrested in May 2017 after a lengthy investigation. A 2 1/2-week trial had been scheduled to begin in March.

Prosecutor Shane Parker declined to provide details about why the charge was stayed.

The Nel family said in a written statement that the Crown had concerns with medical evidence “that may make this prosecution dangerous to continue.”

“We are sad that our lives have been turned upside down by this allegation which resulted in losing so much. We hope and pray that this brokenness will be redeemed, and our lives and reputations will be restored,” read the statement distributed by Nel’s lawyer Chris Archer.

The family thanked everyone who supported them.

“We can now grieve and continue to honour the loving memory of our son Cyrus,” the Nels said.

“After Cyrus died, his organs gave life to others. We do not know who they are, but pray for them daily. Our son’s memory is one of life and love.”

Nel was put on administrative leave from his job at Rockyview Alliance Church in the month before he was charged.

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