Court allows broadcast of police video with toddler killer

An Alberta judge has ruled a video of a police interview with a daycare home operator who admitted to negligence in the death of a toddler can be broadcast.

MEDICINE HAT — An Alberta judge has ruled a video of a police interview with a daycare home operator who admitted to negligence in the death of a toddler can be broadcast.

CTV had requested to show the video depicting Erin Jackman’s 2010 police interview following her arrest, but a provincial judge rejected it, even though the Crown did not object and the defence lawyer did not show up at the hearing seeking permission to broadcast the video last December.

No other objections, evidence or submissions by Medicine Hat police or affected family members regarding the broadcast of the video were heard.

On Thursday, Queen’s Bench Justice Glen Poelman said the onus is on those seeking bans to prove it’s necessary, rather than media outlets having to provide reasons why the courts should release such exhibits.

Jackman was sentenced last fall to 3 1/2 years in prison for criminal negligence causing the death of a 19-month-old girl at her accredited day home in Medicine Hat, Alta., in July 2010.

The police interview with 26-year-old Jackman was shown in court — in it, Jackman confesses to pushing the child into a door hinge in a fit of frustration. Mercedes Pepper died of massive head trauma.

CTV lawyers were pleased with the court’s decision to allow the interview to be broadcast.

“It’s a good reminder that courts being open to the public isn’t enough,” said Sean Ward.

“The public depends on the media to be their eyes and ears. (The release of the video) is what that means in this day and age.”

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