A Calgary judge says there was planning and forcible confinement by a couple found guilty of the first-degree murder of their teen son, who was starved and neglected and weighed just 37 pounds when he died.
Emil and Rodica Radita, who have been in custody since they were arrested, were each given life sentences on Friday, and will have to spend 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Their son Alex, 15, whose Type 1 diabetes went untreated, died on May 7, 2013.
Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Karen Horner said the boy was kept in “purposeful isolation” by his parents, and therefore did not have contact with anyone who might have intervened, like a doctor or teacher.
Throughout the parents’ trial, which began last May, Horner heard evidence that the Raditas had a history of refusing to properly treat their son’s condition, beginning when he was diagnosed at age two.
Horner said the Raditas were well aware of their son’s diabetes and how it should be treated.
“Your actions … are beyond comprehension. You persisted in arrogant confidence … until he was dead,” the judge said.
Before they were sentenced, the parents were given a chance to address the court, but declined.
Boy suffered, prosecutor says
Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper said the ruling and the sentences reflect the “magnitude of Alex’s suffering.”
She said the trial showed some of the tears in our social safety net that led to Alex’s death, including a lack of communication between provinces and the fact the boy was able to disappear off the education system’s radar without anyone noticing.
“I think it really highlights the degree of isolation that Alex lived in,” said Pepper, who prosecuted the case alongside Marta Juzwiak.
“He had no friends or teachers or support people or doctors, or really anyone.”