A forensic photograph taken in October 2015 of belts was filed as an exhibit for the trial of Lauren Lafleche, an Edmonton woman accused of killing her five-year-old daughter. The victim’s younger brother, in a video-taped interview played in court, said Lafleche regularly beat her children with a belt as a form of punishment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Court of Queen’s Bench Alberta, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

A forensic photograph taken in October 2015 of belts was filed as an exhibit for the trial of Lauren Lafleche, an Edmonton woman accused of killing her five-year-old daughter. The victim’s younger brother, in a video-taped interview played in court, said Lafleche regularly beat her children with a belt as a form of punishment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Court of Queen’s Bench Alberta, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Murder trial begins for Edmonton mother accused of beating daughter with belt, spatula

An autopsy confirmed five-year-old died from brain damage caused by blunt force trauma to her head

Shalaina Arcand’s siblings were asleep in another room when the five-year-old was hit in the head so hard that she died in hospital four days later, a trial judge heard Monday.

The girl’s mother, Lauren Lafleche, pleaded not guilty on the first day of a two-week trial to second-degree murder, assault with a weapon and failure to provide the necessaries of life. The weapons listed as evidence are a belt and a spatula.

Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Avril Inglis heard testimony from Shalaina’s brother and sister through a video conference call.

A video was also played of the brother, who was four years old at the time, speaking to a child protection services unit after Shalaina’s death five years ago.

In the video, the brother said Shalaina was made to sleep on the floor of a closet in their mother’s room, while he and another sister slept in clean beds.

The boy said everyone was hit regularly in the home with a belt as a form of punishment, but Shalaina was beaten the most with a belt and she was hit “everywhere.”

He also said he and the other sister also hit Shalaina with a belt “because she cries every single night.”

“Everyone hit Shalaina with a belt,” he said.

Court heard that Lafleche called police from a home in northwest Edmonton around midnight on Oct. 12, 2015. Shalaina was breathing but wouldn’t wake up.

An autopsy later confirmed Shalaina died from brain damage caused by blunt force trauma to her head.

Lafleche, then 29, was arrested.

Shalaina’s older sister, who was 10 years old, told child protection workers in another video played in court that their mother woke her up the night of the 911 call to help give the unresponsive Shalaina a hot shower and wash her face. The call for help was made shortly after.

The sister, now 16, told court she was too emotional to hear the rest of the interview played as evidence.

___

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

murder trial

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

(Photo submitted)
Central Alberta couple celebrates 60th anniversary

They still laugh, hold hands, play crib and fish says daughter

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

Children and their families enjoy the light display at Centennial Park in 2019. (File photo)
Town anounces expanded light display and new Christmas Light Tour

The Town of Ponoka will flip the switch on an expanded Christmas… Continue reading

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at B.C. campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

A pedestrian wears masks while out walking in front of the Alberta Legislature as the COVID-19 numbers spike in Edmonton on Tuesday November 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Doctor says Alberta restrictions not enough to reduceCOVID-19 strain on hospitals

Mithani notes people are still allowed to gather indoors at large places of worship and in bars,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Most Read