CALGARY — A Calgary woman has been found guilty of manslaughter for strangling her 14-year-old daughter with a scarf after a judge ruled there was no evidence she was acting in self-defence.
Aset Magomadova had originally been charged with second-degree murder after her only daughter, Aminat, was found dead in the family’s home.
Crown prosecutor Mac Vomberg argued it was obvious the woman meant to kill the girl because she would have had to apply pressure for several minutes to strangle her. Magomadova, a Chechen immigrant, testified she couldn’t remember how long she tightened the scarf around her daughter’s neck.
But Justice Sal LoVecchio ruled that the Crown failed to prove the mother intended to kill the girl, so he chose to convict the woman on the lesser charge.
Defence lawyer Mark Tyndale maintained that Magomadova was simply defending herself, painting her as a “long-suffering” mother whose out-of-control daughter came at her with a knife.
LoVecchio concluded there was no evidence to support this scenario and he pointed out that the accused was not injured.
The daughter was portrayed during trial as a troubled teen with a history of violence, including assaulting a teacher and uttering threats to kill school staff.
A child psychologist testified that she had diagnosed Aminat with an extreme behavioural disorder and was in desperate need of help. The psychologist said the girl was bewildered by the cultural differences between Canada and Chechnya, from where the family fled in 2003 and where Magomadova’s husband was killed by Russian troops.
Magomadova said her daughter’s behaviour had deteriorated badly since the family left Chechnya. A family friend said Aminat’s violent behaviour was “escalating out of control” in the weeks before her death.