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Verdict expected for Calgary man accused of killing four-year-old daughter

BILL GRAVELAND, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

CALGARY — A judge is to deliver a verdict today for a man charged with killing his young daughter five years ago.

Oluwatosin Oluwafemi, 44, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the 2014 death of four-year-old Olive Rebekah Oluwafemi.

The trial heard that Oluwafemi called his wife at work on the afternoon of Dec. 19, 2014, and she rushed to their Calgary home to find him performing CPR on their daughter.

A paramedic testified that when he arrived the girl was unconscious, not breathing and in cardiac arrest. He said he received no explanation from the people in the home about what happened.

Crown prosecutor Donna Spaner said in her closing arguments before Justice Suzanne Bensler that there may only be circumstantial evidence, but common sense makes it clear that Oluwafemi killed his child.

“He assaulted her in a manner that included multiple blows, punches, kicks and/or slaps. The assaultive behaviours culminated with an event of force that caused the catastrophic damage to her neck, to her cervical spine,” Spaner told court.

The trial was also told that a simple fall would not have caused the severity of the girl’s injuries, which were equivalent to her jumping head first into a swimming pool and hitting her head.

Oluwafemi, who had lost his job months earlier, was the only person in the home looking after the child, Spaner noted.

Oluwafemi’s lawyer, Rebecca Snukal, said there was no proof her client did anything to the little girl, who was an active child and got bumps and bruises from her rough play.

Snukal reminded the judge that the girl’s mother testified she sometimes disciplined the child by pulling her ears, hitting the palm of her hand with a flip-flop, smacking her or yelling.

Oluwafemi was arrested in Ontario a year after the girl died. He had moved to the community of Keswick to be closer to family.

Originally from Nigeria, he was working as a mining engineer for NorWest Corp. but was laid off about two months before his daughter’s death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2020

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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