Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

A special prosecutor has been appointed to conduct an independent review into evidence disclosure in the case of a Cranbrook woman who was prosecuted following the death of a toddler in 2011.

In May 2013, Tammy Bouvette pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death in the case of a toddler she was babysitting in Cranbrook two years prior.

She was sentenced to two 12-month consecutive terms in jail; one term for the criminal negligence causing death charge, as well as a robbery charge committed when she was out on bail in December 2011.

READ: Bouvette out in six months

However, she received credit for serving 18 months of her two-year sentence in custody while awaiting court proceedings, and served a further six months following the sentencing.

The announcement of a special prosecutor was made following media inquiries about disclosure issues involving the pathologist on the case, according to a BCPS news release. Further details will be released at an appropriate time once the review is complete, according to the BCPS.

Marilyn Sanford, a senior lawyer with a private Vancouver firm, will serve as the special prosecutor.

According to RCMP statements presented during a sentencing hearing, Bouvette admitted the child fell out of a high chair when she was babysitting on May 26, 2011. Bouvette told RCMP she only noticed a mark on the toddler’s forehead, but a pathologist’s report concluded with an opinion that the child would have been bleeding and visibly distraught.

Bouvette told RCMP she took the toddler upstairs for a bath and left her unattended for five minutes. When Bouvette returned, she was found facedown in the water and unresponsive. The toddler was taken off life support in the hospital a day later.

Bouvette also confessed to RCMP about a robbery at a local gas station in December 2011 when she was out on bail. A crown prosecutor told the court that Bouvette went into a local Fas Gas wearing a mask and carrying a carving knife, but left after employees talked her out of stealing from the business before police arrived.

With files from Sally MacDonald



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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