MONTREAL — The mother of a six-year-old girl who died after she was stabbed in an east-end Montreal residence was charged Friday with second-degree murder.
The 36-year-old suspect, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, appeared in court over the phone from her hospital bed.
Elfriede Duclervil, the woman’s lawyer, said her client found it difficult to appear in front of a judge through the telephone.
“All appearances under these circumstances are traumatizing for anyone,” Duclervil told reporters at the Montreal courthouse, “and even more so for someone who is in their bed, in hospital.”
“I think she was a little surprised,” the lawyer continued. “It’s hard to appear without seeing the faces of your lawyers, prosecutors, the judge, so I think that needs to be taken in consideration under the circumstances.”
Police said they received an anonymous 911 call about the incident around 3 a.m. Thursday and the girl was taken to hospital in critical condition, where she died hours later. The girl’s mother was found at the scene and taken to hospital with minor injuries, but police weren’t immediately able to question her due to her condition.
Police have said they believe the suspect was the only other person present at the time of her daughter’s death. She was described as a material witness prior to her arrest late Thursday night.
The stabbing is Montreal’s eleventh homicide of the year.
On Friday, a small pile of stuffed animals and a heart-shaped pillow sat beside a tree in front of the modest two-storey building in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough where the incident took place.
A neighbour, who did not wish to give his name, said in an interview conducted through social media he’d often heard loud voices and arguing coming from the residence, but said the woman appeared to be a loving mother.
Judge Melanie Hebert issued a publication ban to protect the identity of the victim, which covers the mother by extension. Hebert also ordered the mother to have no contact with the deceased child’s father and with her other daughter.
The suspect will remain in hospital before being transferred to a detention centre while awaiting her next court date, which is set for Aug. 19.
Duclervil said it was ”premature” to say whether she will request a psychological evaluation for her client.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2020.
Pierre Saint-Arnaud, The Canadian Press