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Verdict next week in trial for Edmonton soldier accused of trying to kill her children in house fire

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A Canadian soldier on trial for the attempted murder of her three children will learn her fate next week.

The woman, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, is charged with three counts of attempted murder along with arson charges after a 2015 house fire at CFB Edmonton.

The Crown has been trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she intentionally set the fire while her three children were asleep inside.

The 10-day trial wrapped up on Friday with closing arguments. Over the course of the past two weeks, a judge has heard testimony from several witnesses, including the woman’s children.

One of her son’s testified he woke up and told his mom about the fire but was told to go back to bed.

Defence lawyer Curtis Steeves argued his client had nothing to do with the fire.

“There are too many gaps in the evidence, too many questions,” he said.

He also took aim at the boy’s evidence.

“Given the way both of their evidence changed over time, this court should be extremely skeptical, extremely critical regarding that,” Steeves told the court.

He added evidence shows they were influenced by their father.

In response to the mother’s testimony, Crown Prosecutor Dallas Sopko said, “It’s not true that she tried to help them escape.”

He also reminded the court about a letter reportedly sent by the accused with a large sum of money to a friend.

“This letter is her acknowledgement that she’s about to do something rash,” Sopko said. “She intended to kill herself and the kids.”

Sopko told the court she also had motive as the fire happened just days before her ex-husband would get primary custody of the children.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges at the start of the trial.

A verdict in the case is expected next Friday. 

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