Supreme Court won’t hear appeals of couple convicted in diabetic son’s death

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal of a couple found guilty of killing their diabetic teenage son.

Emil and Rodica Radita of Calgary were convicted in 2017 of first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Alexandru. They were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Witnesses at the trial testified that the boy was so neglected that he weighed 37 pounds when he died in 2013 of complications from untreated diabetes and starvation.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Karen Horner said in handing down her verdict that the couple was in gross denial about Alexandru’s disease.

“Children in Canada rarely die from diabetes, but proper treatment requires due diligence,” Horner said.

She said it appeared that Alexandru had not received proper care for years, even though the Raditas were fully trained in how to look after him.

The trial heard that the Raditas refused to accept that their son had diabetes when he was diagnosed in 2000 and failed to treat his disease until he was hospitalized — near death — in British Columbia in 2003.

B.C. social workers apprehended him and placed him in foster care — where he thrived — for nearly a year before he was returned to his family.

Child welfare officials were watching the Raditas, but lost track when the family moved to Alberta in 2008. Court heard the boy was home-schooled and had little contact with the outside world. There were no records of his going to a doctor in the province.

One of Alex’s seven siblings told court that the family did not believe in doctors.

Alberta’s chief medical examiner testified that an autopsy showed the teen was severely underweight and covered in ulcers. Dr. Jeffery Gofton said the boy appeared skeletal with thin hair and sunken eyes, was wearing a diaper and had little body fat. Gofton told court that most of the teen’s teeth had rotted down to the root.

The Raditas filed separate appeals a month after their convictions, but the Alberta Court of Appeal rejected them last February. It said there was ample and uncontested medical evidence about the boy’s cause of death.

The judges cited a video shown in court of Alex on his 15th birthday.

“It shows a bedridden, extremely emaciated and weak boy who struggles to open his cards and gifts. Sores are visible on his nose and forehead. It was a chronic, ongoing process that led to a premature and preventable death.”

As is usual, the Supreme Court on Thursday did not give a reason for its decision.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2020

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

Police are seeking missing Red Deer man

Dillon Bristow was last seen in the city on Saturday

Police arrest Red Deer man for luring children

The three young victims and their families are receiving support

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

Solidarity together: Central Albertans protest in Red Deer against racism

There’s no such thing as a little bit of racism. Even one… Continue reading

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

‘Makes no sense:’ Woman can’t fathom why husband, uncle slain on hunting trip

‘Makes no sense:’ Woman can’t fathom why husband, uncle slain on hunting trip

Climate change behind increases in extreme rain danger: scientists

Climate change behind increases in extreme rain danger: scientists

Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

Woman sentenced in toddler’s death says sorry to ‘every single person’ she hurt

Woman sentenced in toddler’s death says sorry to ‘every single person’ she hurt

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

Most Read