View Poll Results: Who's Responsible?
14 Year Old 1 20.00%
Children's Aid Society 0 0%
Both 4 80.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

Teen chucklesGirl 14, appears in court charged with murder in the smothering death of a 3-year-old

Police investigators at a foster home in Welland where a 3-year-old boy was smothered to death. A 14-year-old girl has been charged. (Rob Lamberti, Sun)
WELLAND -- A 14-year-old girl charged with the first-degree smothering murder of a 3-year-old boy chuckled while speaking with her lawyer during a brief court hearing yesterday.

The teen was charged with what Niagara Regional Police allege was a premeditated killing after the toddler died in a Welland hospital Thursday.

The accused is a ward of the Niagara Region children's aid. The dead child was a ward of Haldimand-Norfolk children's aid.


The boy was killed a day after the teen was assigned to the Frazier St. foster home in Welland after being moved from the David S. Horne group home in Fonthill.

The teen, with shoulder-length brunette hair, wore a long-sleeved light lavender fleece top.

She pulled the sleeves down to hide handcuffs as she stood in the prisoner's box. She barely reached the shoulders of the special constables standing by her side.

She had a brief discussion with defence counsel John Lefurgey and smiled and gave a short laugh, exposing her braces, while accepting a business card.

"Yes," she responded in a loud and firm voice when the court clerk asked if she understood the allegation against her.

Justice of the Peace Meg Belcastro ordered the teen to return to the St. Catharines court next Friday. She is in custody at a Thorold juvenile facility.

An autopsy confirmed the boy was suffocated.

The boy's mother, 23, said she had hoped to get custody of her son and was distraught at his death. She said Haldimand-Norfolk Children's Aid Society took away the boy and her 4-year-old daughter who is in the care of her paternal grandmother in London.

"They told me I can't have them because, 'your house isn't clean and you have a history of depression'," she said

Children's aid should have protected him, she said.

"They have to be responsible, too," she said.

Brian Hillier of the Haldimand-Norfolk Children's Aid Society said: "We're just devastated by this. We're a smaller, rural agency and our staff have a very strong connection with our foster families and our kids in care."

He refused to say how long the boy had been in the agency's care.

"I can say he was comfortable and he knew those foster parents," Hillier said, adding he had "complete confidence" in the foster parents.


"Obviously something went completely wrong here," he said. "We're just at the beginning of all of this. We haven't even been able to speak to our foster mother.

"We'll be all over this and there may be things we do differently. Then there will be what the ministry does because they will have an intense look at both agencies."

Bill Charron, executive director of Family and Children's Services Niagara, said the teen has been a permanent ward of the society for about two years and had just been placed with the Welland foster family for one day.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the 3-year-old who was killed," Charron said.

"As for the young lady ... we are her parents. We are doing everything we can to be there with her and for her."

It's standard procedure that before any child is placed with a foster home, as much information as possible is passed on about the child's background and anticipated behaviour, Charron said.

"We have no reason to believe it wasn't (done in this case)."
Both are to blame.
I would entirely agree; from the information contained in the article, both parties deserve part of the blame; as to the responsibility for the murder itself, if the fourteen-year-old is found to be guilty in Court, then by all means, the entire responsibility for the matter should be hers alone.
Gee Whiz. Who is to blame?

The three year olds mother who wasn't properly caring for him in the first place... I would give that one my vote, when you deliver a child, it's your job to take care of him. It isnt' your job to assign someone else the task. You can't delegate when it comes to parenting. Even when your child is in the care of a babysitter (IMO) you are responsible, you chose the babysitter and you dropped your child off there. When you have a three year old child, you are responsible for him, no one else.

If the woman had been a better mother to begin with, her little three year old would be just fine, right?

But on the other hand, what was the CAS thinking when they placed children whose ages are that far apart, together...

I hate the CAS in Ontario. They aren't always sensible when it comes to who they place where, but sometimes, they truly make the correct decision. Here's my example.

I was at the courthouse one day during "Children's Aid Day", this is when they take all the children away. (I'm sorry, that's bad) Anyways, I was in line waiting to be searched (Hamilton, Ontario, what can I say), and was listening to the people in front of me.

These were your typical crack loser redneck freaks. They argued with the police about emptying their pockets, they argued about every bloody thing you could imagine. They basically caused a ruckus at the courthouse. (It was amusing). They wound up losing their children, and while I wouldn't wish that on anyone , they could NOT possibly have been taking proper care of their kids. So the CAS won that day, and quite possibly saved one child.

Oh and for the record, I do not believe that the mother in the story truly wanted back her child. If she says it's because her house isn't clean, she's LYING. If she says it's because she is always depressed, she's LYING. They don't take children away because of some dust and sadness. Usually it's because of spiral fractures and crushed skulls, but hey, what do I know.

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