David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during their appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during their appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Alberta Appeal Court orders 3rd trial for parents in toddler’s meningitis death

Stephans were accused of not seeking medical attention sooner for Ezekiel, who had meningitis when he died

Alberta’s top court has ordered a third trial for a couple originally convicted then found not guilty in the death of their ill son.

The Alberta Court of Appeal has granted a request by the Crown to overturn the 2019 acquittal of David and Collet Stephan.

The Stephans were accused of not seeking medical attention sooner for 19-month-old Ezekiel, who had meningitis when he died in 2012.

A jury convicted the couple in 2016, but the Supreme Court of Canada overturned that verdict and ordered a second trial at which a judge acquitted them.

The Appeal Court judges ruled that comments made by the judge about a chief medical examiner demonstrated “a reasonable apprehension of bias.”

As a result, the not guilty verdicts have been set aside and a new trial ordered.

READ MORE: Accused mother cries at Alberta trial over boy who died of meningitis

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