ALBERTA

Judge finds father, stepmom guilty of 2nd-degree murder in death of Calgary girl

06/03/2015 04:18 EDT | Updated 06/03/2016 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - A Calgary judge found a father and stepmother guilty Wednesday of killing their six-year-old girl.

Justice Rosemary Nation took about 40 minutes to read her decision convicting Spencer Jordan and Marie Magoon of second-degree murder.

There were tears in the packed courtroom as Nation detailed the injuries Meika Jordan suffered at the hands of her father and Magoon.

Court heard the girl was burned, punched, dragged and thrown down stairs.

Both of the accused had admitted to abusing the girl in a video taken during an RCMP undercover operation.

“I know I spanked her," said Spencer Jordan. "I know that I pushed her on Saturday — pushed her really hard. She hit her head really hard. I know I punched her Sunday morning. I punched her really hard. I didn't hold back. I know that I would have made her run the stairs or do jumping jacks every day that week. I know Marie probably would have probably spanked her."

The couple had been charged with first-degree murder, but the judge said it was impossible to determine who dealt the fatal blow to the little girl.

Medical officials testified Meika died of blunt force trauma to her head; her pancreas and liver were torn and she was badly burned.

Meika Jordan's mother and stepfather, Kyla and Brian Woodhouse, were in court for the verdict.

“It’s not what we were hoping for," said Brian Woodhouse. "We pushed for first-degree from the beginning. We knew it was going to be a long, hard road to get to. Second-degree is not what we wanted but ultimately guilty is guilty. They lose a few years of their life, we lost her."

“Whether it was first-degree, second-degree, regardless, as long as it came down to a guilty verdict we get our justice for her and that’s what we’ve been striving for for the last almost four years now,” said Kyla Woodhouse.

Defence lawyer Allan Fay had hoped for a manslaughter verdict but said he was not surprised by the outcome.

Second-degree murder carries an automatic sentence of life but Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper said they will be seeking the maximum parole eligibility available, which would be 25 years. The minimum would be 10.

(CFFR, CTV Calgary)

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