Man convicted of manslaughter in Edmonton after confessing to assaulting his son

EDMONTON – A judge has ruled that a 27-year-old man who has confessed to undercover officers is guilty of manslaughter in the death of his six-month-old son.

Christopher Lamarche was originally charged with second degree murder. His son Jarock Humeniuk was found dead in his cradle in May 2017 with a broken collarbone and damage to his brain and ribs.

Judge Sterling Sanderman, of the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench, said Lamarche’s father testified it was Jarock’s second night at Lamarche’s house because the boy’s parents did not live together.

“He was a healthy, happy child who was completely dependent on his caregivers,” Sanderman said in court.

“The injuries he sustained that led to his death were inflicted on him by someone. They were not an accident and certainly not a criminal.”

Sanderman said Jarock slept next to his father’s bed while relatives of Jarock’s mother met outside the house to grill and drink the night before he was found dead.

One person who had used the bathroom in the house testified that Jarock appeared to be fine around 3:30 a.m. About three hours later, Lamarche called the police to report his son’s death.

Two years later, Lamarche told an undercover police officer that he “passed out” and “snapped” at his son because he was frustrated that night with stopping Jarock’s crying.

“This is the only direct evidence in court that sheds light on Mr. Lamarche’s trial when he attacked Jarock,” noted Sanderman.

Lamarche also told officers that he choked, bent and aggressively shaken Jarock during the attack

Sanderman said Lamarche’s description of the attack was consistent with the wounds found during an autopsy on Jarock’s body – although the defense argued they weren’t “lining up properly”.

Sanderman said “one would not expect a perfect match” between the report and the boy’s injuries, but added that he was unequivocally convinced that they were caused by Lamarche as a result of his confession.

A judgment date is to be set at a later date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 4, 2022.

This story was produced with financial support from Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Fakiha Baig, the Canadian press

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