A special prosecutor has been appointed to conduct an independent review into evidence disclosure in the case of a Cranbrook woman who was prosecuted following the death of a toddler in 2011.
In May 2013, Tammy Bouvette pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death in the case of a toddler she was babysitting in Cranbrook two years prior.
She was sentenced to two 12-month consecutive terms in jail; one term for the criminal negligence causing death charge, as well as a robbery charge committed when she was out on bail in December 2011.
However, she received credit for serving 18 months of her two-year sentence in custody while awaiting court proceedings, and served a further six months following the sentencing.
The announcement of a special prosecutor was made following media inquiries about disclosure issues involving the pathologist on the case, according to a BCPS news release. Further details will be released at an appropriate time once the review is complete, according to the BCPS.
Marilyn Sanford, a senior lawyer with a private Vancouver firm, will serve as the special prosecutor.
According to RCMP statements presented during a sentencing hearing, Bouvette admitted the child fell out of a high chair when she was babysitting on May 26, 2011. Bouvette told RCMP she only noticed a mark on the toddler’s forehead, but a pathologist’s report concluded with an opinion that the child would have been bleeding and visibly distraught.
Bouvette told RCMP she took the toddler upstairs for a bath and left her unattended for five minutes. When Bouvette returned, she was found facedown in the water and unresponsive. The toddler was taken off life support in the hospital a day later.
Bouvette also confessed to RCMP about a robbery at a local gas station in December 2011 when she was out on bail. A crown prosecutor told the court that Bouvette went into a local Fas Gas wearing a mask and carrying a carving knife, but left after employees talked her out of stealing from the business before police arrived.
With files from Sally MacDonald