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Stacey Joy Bourdeaux, Mom Who Killed Baby Boy Gets 13 Years In Prison

06/22/2012 12:46 EDT | Updated 08/22/2012 05:12 EDT
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CALGARY - A Calgary mother who confessed to killing her infant son in diary entries to her dead husband was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Friday.

Justice Terry Semenuk sentenced Stacey Joy Bourdeaux to four years for manslaughter, eight years for the attempted murder of a second child and one year for failing to provide the necessities of life. The 34-year-old was given credit of three years and five months for time already served, meaning she has another nine years and seven months left on her sentence.

Bourdeaux stood quietly during the brief sentencing and showed little emotion.

"I view the accused's act as being impulsive and not involving a high degree of deliberation," Semenuk wrote in a 35-page decision. "After her arrest the accused made a full confession to the police as to her involvement in the offences. As well, I accept the accused's sincere expression of remorse in the oral statement she made in open court."

Bourdeaux pleaded guilty last August to manslaughter in the 2004 death of 10-month-old Sean Ronald Fewer and to the attempted murder of her five-year-old boy in 2010. She also admitted to failing to provide the necessities of life.

Sean was found not breathing in his crib in December 2004. At the time, his death did not raise any suspicion with the medical examiner, who ruled it was a case of sudden infant death syndrome.

However, Bourdeaux admitted killing the boy in her diary to her husband Ted Fewer, who had died in an electrical accident.

"Dear Ted. Now that you are gone I can confess about Sean,'' Bourdeaux wrote. "The night that he left us, it wasn't actually while he was sleeping."

"I did what I didn't want to do. The crying wouldn't stop, so I ended up putting a pillow over his face and made sure that it was stopping his breathing. I know it's something that I shouldn't have done, but I did.''

In May 2010, police were called to Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary when a five-year-old boy was brought in with breathing trouble.

A few months later, police charged Bourdeaux with attempted murder and choking with intent.

Court heard Bourdeaux dragged the boy upstairs after he had thrown a tantrum. Over a two-hour period, she attempted to choke him.

She waited several days before taking him to hospital. He survived, but has severe brain damage, no longer speaks and has limited motor skills.

It was during the investigation into that attack that police looked into Bourdeaux's background and discovered Sean's death. It was reclassified a homicide.

"As to the attempted murder offence, the offence is aggravated by the level of violence employed by the accused during her prolonged assault on the victim using a pillow as a weapon and a ligature with the intention to kill," said Semenuk, who noted Bourdeaux didn't seek treatment for her son for three days.

"It must have been obvious to the accused that the victim was in need of medical care."

Bourdeaux did apologize to the court during sentencing arguments earlier this year.

"I know saying sorry can't bring anybody back,'' Bourdeaux said at the time. "I feel horrible for what I've done and there isn't a day goes by without regrets.''

"I know that the past can never be erased,'' she added. "I hope some day I'll have an explanation for what I have done. Please forgive me so that I can forgive myself.''

Bourdeaux's lawyer Katherin Beyak was satisfied with the sentence. She called it a difficult case.

"I think the judge characterized that appropriately as genuine remorse," said Beyak.

"She was very upset, very troubled about what happened and what she in fact did and was capable of."