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Alberta Calgary manslaughter trial hears cause of boy’s death deemed ‘undetermined’

A manslaughter trial for a Calgary man has heard his five-year-old grandson died from blunt head trauma, but an autopsy could not determine whether it was an accident or inflicted on purpose.

Allan Perdomo Lopez, 59, is charged in the July 2015 death of Emilio Perdomo.

Allan Perdomo Lopez.

Court has heard the boy was taken to hospital unconscious and with bruises all over his body. Emilio underwent emergency brain surgery, but died about a week later.

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Angela Miller, the forensic pathologist who did the autopsy, testified there was bleeding in his brain.

She classified the manner of the boy’s death as undetermined.

“A reasonable amount of certainty needs to be made in calling something specifically a homicide,” she told court Wednesday.

“And in this case, there was insufficient investigative evidence and/or medical evidence to conclude one way or the other whether or not this was a homicide or an accident.”

Emilio had bruises on his arms, legs and torso. The court was also shown pictures of several crescent-shaped and round scars on the boy’s back.

When asked by Crown prosecutor Shane Parker whether the head injury could have been the result of a fall down four stairs, as the boy’s guardians suggested, Miller said: “It’s possible.”

Defence lawyer Darren Mahoney asked Miller during cross examination why she could not conclude Emilio’s death was a homicide.

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“There were no non-biased observers to provide a witness account and based on the medical findings, there was nothing that would allow us to state this was an accident, this was a homicide,” she explained.

She said the bruises were too superficial and it was too difficult to figure out how old the scars were for either to be helpful in explaining Emilio’s manner of death, she said.

Miller added there was no evidence during her examination of ongoing abuse, such as old bone fractures.

The trial heard previously that Emilio was born in Mexico and had lived there with his grandmother.

Marisol Segovia-Alvarez said the boy stayed with her until he was about five. Her daughter and grandson moved out against her wishes in August 2014 – six months before Emilio came to Canada.

The boy died five months after his arrival.

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The accused’s wife, Carolina Perdomo, was originally charged in the death, but the Crown stayed a manslaughter charge against her in February.

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