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'I truly am sorry': Woman convicted of manslaughter in death of toddler sentenced to 8.5 years in prison
EDMONTON -- Woman convicted of manslaughter in death of toddler sentenced to 8.5 years in prison
The woman convicted of manslaughter in the death of a 19-month-old Edmonton boy was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison Monday.
Tasha-Lee Mack was convicted in November 2019 in connection to the death of Anthony Joseph Raine, her then-boyfriend's son.
The toddler's lifeless body was found outside the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017.
Joey Crier, the father, was also convicted of manslaughter in a separate trial. The two were initially charged with second-degree murder.
Court heard during Mack's trial and sentencing that the boy suffered abuse before suffering a fatal blow to his head, and that he went from being a chunky, happy baby to being "skin and bones" in a matter of months.
"The degree of violence here is extreme," Crown prosecutor Monica Sabo said during the sentencing hearing Monday.
"Those injuries, if not dealt by Ms. Mack, she bears responsibility."
Sabo repeatedly argued that even if Mack, who could be heard crying in court, did not personally kill Raine, her failure to help was a conscious decision that eventually resulted in his death.
"She had numerous opportunities to act. She chose again and again not to," Sabo said.
'I LEARNED MY LESSON'
Through more tears, Mack delivered a statement in which she apologized to the victims of those affected by Raine's killing before she was sentenced.
"I understand what I did; I know I was wrong…Just the way I've been treated in the Remand, I've learned my lesson. And I truly am sorry to every single person that was hurt due to my negligence. I am really. And I mean that."
Mack said she's been called a "baby killer" and has received death threats in jail.
That, and Raine's death, she says, give her "an anxiety that paralyses me with fear."
"I've made some mistakes and I'm willing to do whatever is needed to make up for it," Mack said.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Graesser said he was satisfied with Mack's remorse, but added she waited until the very end to apologize.
The Crown was seeking 10 to 12 years, while the defence was seeking six years.
Justice Graesser settled on the lower end of the eight- to 12-year mark, he said, with eight-and-a-half-years.
Graesser said he could not determine, beyond reasonable doubt, who killed the toddler.
However, he said, "she ultimately failed to protect Anthony and get him medical help," and helped Crier "dispose of Anthony like unwanted garbage."
"This was the tragic occurrence that caused the death of a beautiful young boy," Graesser said.
'YOU PEOPLE TORE MY FAMILY'
The boy's mom, Dalyce Raine, became emotional during her impact statement as she remembered her son.
"He would have been five years old this year," she said. "I wish I could have said happy birthday to you.
"I love you so much, baby."
Raine went on to argue that with her son now dead, the people responsible for his death "shouldn't be able to be free."
"I just want the person that murdered our baby behind bars and the girl who helped him."
With time already served, Mack will spend another five years in prison.