Jennifer and Jeromie Clark leave a sentencing hearing after the couple were found guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of their 14-month-old son in 2013, outside the courts centre in Calgary, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. A Calgary mother found negligent in the death of her 14-month-old son has been granted full parole about halfway through her sentence.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary mother guilty in son’s staph death granted full parole with conditions

The board also pointed out that Clark had no prior criminal history

A mother found negligent in the death of her 14-month-old son from a staph infection has been granted full parole about halfway through her sentence, but her release comes with conditions.

In June 2019, a judge sentenced Jennifer Clark and her husband Jeromie to 32 months in prison after a jury found the Calgary couple guilty of criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life.

The Parole Board of Canada said in a decision last week that there were more mitigating than aggravating factors and that Jennifer Clark, 43, would not pose an undue risk if released.

“In reviewing the aggravating factors, the board has not lost sight (that) a young life was lost,” it said.

“The victim was a vulnerable and young child who relied on his caregiver to exercise good judgment and make good decisions in relation to his medical needs and you failed him.”

The board also said that while Clark has completed women’s engagement, self-management and social integration programs, her “personal emotional domain” still has a “high need for improvement.”

But positive factors outweighed the negative, said the board, which noted that Clark presented as “open, transparent and engaging” at her hearing.

“You demonstrated insight into your offending and spoke to accepting responsibility for the unfortunate decisions that you (and your co-accused) made,” it said.

“You identified strategies in managing your risk in the community.”

The board also pointed out that Clark had no prior criminal history, was a productive member of her community, followed all bail rules and maintains a “mutually respectful and strong” relationship with her spouse.

Her release includes two special conditions — that she follow a treatment plan to manage her emotions and that she not care for children under the age of 18 without prior permission from her parole supervisor.

Jeromie Clark was released on parole in February.

The couple’s jury trial heard that their son John was gravely ill with a staph infection and wasn’t seen by a doctor until the day before the boy died in November 2013.

Jurors saw photos of the dead child with a red rash all over his body and with blackened toes. They were also shown screen shots of online searches for natural remedies for gangrene, such as cabbage leaves and cayenne.

The couple’s lawyers argued at trial that doctors at the Alberta Children’s Hospital were to blame because they raised the boy’s sodium and fluid levels too aggressively.

The Alberta Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the Clarks’ convictions last month.

Lawyers for the couple had argued that the Clarks didn’t receive a fair trial and that the Crown went too far in discrediting the testimony of Alberta’s former chief medical examiner, who disagreed with a forensic pathologist’s finding that John was malnourished and had a staph infection.

The Appeal Court said the jury had enough medical evidence to reach a fair verdict and that there were at least 11 medical professionals who saw John before he died.

The parole board noted in its decision that the husband and wife are considering pursuing further appeal options, but did not elaborate.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
UPDATE: Parts of Sylvan Lake under boil water advisory

Town staff are working to repair the break in the Sixty West area

The Sylvan Lake and Area Girl Guides were out selling cookies towards the end of March in the parking lot at the Sylvan Lake Walmart, where their fan-favourite mint chocolate cookies were available. This weekend all members of the Girl Guides will be pooling their resources for a cookie blitz at HJ Cody and Wal-Mart. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Girl Guides holding cookie blitz this weekend

Girl Guides will set up a drive-thru cookie sale in two locations: HJ Cody and Wal-Mart

The Town of Sylvan Lake is looking at amending it Land Use Bylaw to allow businesses to add a patio to their business. Last summer Lakeshore Drive was closed to motor vehicles and businesses were allowed to expand their patios onto the sidewalks, the amended bylaw will not allow for patios to expand onto sidewalks or roadways, but Town staff are looking into further iniatives and ideas. (File Photo)
Sylvan Lake looking to expedite patio applications

The Town of Sylvan Lake is looking to amend its Land Use Bylaw in regards to commercial patios

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among other encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Most Read