CALGARY – The Crown says parents of a teen who died of starvation and untreated diabetes should have known their lack of care would result in their son’s death and are guilty of murder.
Emil Radita, 59, and his wife, Rodica, 54, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree-murder in the 2013 death of 15-year-old Alexandru.
The teen, who was one of eight children, weighed just 37 pounds when he died.
“The Crown respectfully submits that it has proven all of the elements of first-degree murder in this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said prosecutor Susan Pepper in her closing arguments Thursday.
“They failed to provide regular insulin injections, regular nutrition, regular medical care and critical medical care to Alexandru. The risk to Alexandru’s life caused by this neglect was entirely foreseeable.”
By failing to provide the treatment he needed, Pepper said Alexandru was left extremely weak and totally dependent. The teen was unable to use the bathroom by himself and was confined to his parent’s bedroom.
“He was as dependent as an infant in the end, with no one in the world outside of the family. His parents were the sole keepers of his life,” Pepper said.
“And they withheld that life by denying him insulin, food and medical care. In so doing, their actions were a substantial cause of his death.”
The trial has heard from medical officials and social workers who were involved with the Raditas from the time Alexandru was first diagnosed with diabetes in 2000 up until the family left British Columbia and moved to Alberta while under the eye of child-welfare services.
Witnesses testified the Raditas refused to accept that their son had diabetes and failed to treat his disease until he was hospitalized near death in 2003. One witness described the teen as nothing more than “skin and bones.”
Social workers apprehended Alexandru after his October 2003 hospital admission and placed him in foster care — where he thrived — for nearly a year before he was returned to his family.
After the family moved to Alberta, testimony has indicated he was enrolled in an online school program for one year but never finished. The boy never saw a doctor, although he did have an Alberta health insurance number.
In her closing statement Wednesday, defence lawyer Andrea Serink argued that there was no proof that the Raditas meant to harm Alexandru.
“You would essentially have to infer that the Raditas are so malicious that they purposely planned and wanted to witness a slow and deliberate death of their son Alex,” she said.
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