David Stephan and his wife Collet Stephan arrive at court on Thursday, March 10, 2016 in Lethbridge, Alta. The Stephans will be appealing their conviction for failing to provide the necessaries of life to the Supreme Court of Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS / David Rossiter

Calgary judge says no to $4M in legal fee cash for couple charged in son’s death

David and Collet Stephan are facing a retrial in the meningitis death of their son

A Calgary judge has refused requests from an Alberta couple facing a retrial in the meningitis death of their son for their legal fees to be covered and for a delay in the case.

David and Collet Stephan wanted $4 million to pay for past and future legal bills.

In 2016, the Stephans were found guilty for failing to provide the necessaries of life to their 19-month-old son Ezekiel.

The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada and a new trial is scheduled for June.

Justice John Rooke also turned down the couple’s request for a stay of the proceedings.

He told David Stephan that the upcoming trial will not be an inquiry into the death of his son, but will decide on the couple’s guilt or innocence.

The couple’s trial in Lethbridge, Alta., heard evidence that they treated the boy with natural remedies and smoothies made with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than take him to a doctor. Ezekiel had been ill for several days and at one point became so stiff he couldn’t sit in his car seat.

Once the boy stopped breathing, the Stephans eventually called 911 but he died in hospital in Calgary in 2012.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled the original judge did not properly instruct jurors and ordered a new trial.

The couple’s application for cash asked that they be granted $1 million to cover their past legal expenses and that another $3 million be placed in trust for any future defence fees.

The Stephans say they have liquidated their assets, are in debt to their previous lawyer and don’t have enough money to obtain the necessary assistance to receive a fair trial.

David Stephan has already told court that the applications are the result of recently released disclosure evidence that suggests 719 pages of defence material was released to the Crown by the RCMP.

The Stephans now live in Grande Prairie, Alta.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ponoka Agricultural Society Bench Show winners, photos

The Ponoka Agricultural Society’s annual Bench Show was held at the Ponoka… Continue reading

The Ponoka Little League girls softball team win bronze

Ponoka defeated Calgary 17-2 in Canadian Little League playoffs

Ponoka Aquaplex will be closed from Aug. 25 to Sept. 30.

Many improvements planned for Ponoka pool

Ponoka County agrees to next step for Rimbey Agrim

Full time manager will help Rimbey Agrim Centre’s financial stability

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

PHOTOS: 5th Annual Alix rodeo bucks the competition

Cowboys and cowgirls risked it all at the Alix Rodeo

Wetaskiwin RCMP arrest two in Camrose after report of suspicious persons

Fugitives try to flee on ATVS, one allegedly steals police car

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read