Preliminary inquiry begins in foster care death

Wednesday, Jul 13, 2011 06:00 am | By Ryan Tumilty | St. Albert Gazette

The preliminary inquiry for a Morinville woman, charged with second-degree murder in the death of a 21-month-old girl in 2010, began this week.

The inquiry is meant to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant the case proceeding to trial, as well as sorting out any disputes over evidence that can be called at the trial.

Publication bans cover all preliminary inquiries and prohibit any reporting on the evidence the court hears during the proceedings to avoid tainting potential future jurors.

The young girl died March 3, 2010 after a two-day stay at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The woman charged in the case was the girl’s foster mother.

She was charged in May 2010 after RCMP units from Morinville and the force’s major crimes unit conducted a lengthy investigation.

Alberta has separate legislation prohibiting the identification of anyone in the provincial foster care system, which prevents the Gazette from identifying the young girl.

The inquiry is expected to conclude later this week.