Alberta couple facing second trial in son’s meningitis death want charge dropped, $4M for court costs

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A couple facing a second trial in the meningitis death of their son are calling for charges against them to be dropped and an estimated $4 million from Alberta Justice.

David Stephan and his wife, Collet, were found guilty in 2016 of failing to provide the necessaries of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel.

Their trial in Lethbridge, Alta., heard evidence that they treated the boy with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than take him to a doctor.

The Stephans eventually called 911 but the toddler died in hospital in 2012.

Last May, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a new trial in a ruling that said the original trial judge did not properly instruct jurors.

During a Thursday court appearance, the couple filed applications for a stay of the proceedings as well as an order asking Alberta Justice for up to $4 million to cover their court costs.

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

The applications are to be heard in Lethbridge court on Jan. 18.

The couple now live outside of Grand Prairie, Alta.

(CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)

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