CALGARY â€” A woman found guilty of murdering her own son has filed an appeal that claims the judge showed bias by crying during the trial.
Emil and Rodica Radita of Calgary were convicted of first-degree murder last month in the death of their 15-year-old son Alexandru.
Justice Karen Horner of Court of Queen’s Bench heard the trial without a jury and was told the boy was so neglected, he weighed just 37 pounds when he died in 2013 of complications from untreated diabetes and starvation.
Horner sentenced the parents to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Rodica Radita’s appeal notice of her conviction and the sentence she received is in her own handwriting on a form that shows her address as the federal women’s prison in Edmonton.
“I am not guilty of murdering my son and the judge finding that I am shows that she did not look at all of the evidence,” Radita wrote.
“The judge’s crying during my case â€” closing argument and while reading her decision â€” demonstrates that she was bias.
“Saying that my arguments were ‘non-sensical’ when they were based on the actual evidence further shows her bias and inability to decide my case on the facts rather than on emotion.”
When Horner handed down her verdict, she said the couple was in gross denial of Alexandru’s disease.
“Children in Canada rarely die from diabetes, but proper treatment requires due diligence,” the judge said.
Horner said it appeared that Alexandru had not received proper care for years, even though the Raditas were fully trained on how to look after him.
Alberta’s chief medical examiner testified that an autopsy showed the teen was severely underweight and covered in ulcers.
Dr. Jeffery Gofton said Alexandru appeared skeletal with thin hair and sunken eyes. He said the boy was wearing a diaper and had very little body fat. Gofton told court that most of the teen’s teeth had rotted down to the root.
Defence lawyer Andrea Serink argued that the Raditas were guilty of manslaughter, not murder.
Witnesses testified that the Raditas refused to accept that their son had diabetes and failed to treat his disease until he was hospitalized near death in British Columbia in 2003.
B.C. social workers apprehended Alexandru after his hospital admission and placed him in foster care â€” where he thrived â€” for nearly a year before he was returned to his family.
Emil Radita’s lawyer said that as of Thursday his client had not filed an appeal.
â€” By John Cotter in Edmonton. With file from CFFR
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said it was a jury trial.