Trial begins Wednesday for pair charged in death of toddler found near Edmonton church

The trial begins on Wednesday at the Edmonton law courts for Joey Crier and Tasha-Lee Mack, who are charged in the death of Crier’s 19-month-old son.

The body of Anthony Raine was found outside the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in north Edmonton on April 21, 2017, where the remains had allegedly been left three days earlier.

Investigators said the cause of the boy’s death was trauma to the head, adding there were bruises all over his body.

Crier, and his then-girlfriend, Tasha-Lee Mack, were charged with one count each of second-degree murder, criminal negligence causing death, assault and failing to provide necessaries of life. Crier was also charged with assault causing bodily harm.

EXCLUSIVE: Family of accused killer speaks out; doesn’t know if toddler was alive while at their house

Joey Crier and Tasha-Lee Mack.

Crier, who has been out on bail since last fall and was ordered to live with his mother on the Pigeon Lake reserve, failed to show up in court on Monday for jury selection.

An arrest warrant was issued and Crier was later picked up by RCMP in Maskwacis, a First Nations community about 70 kilometres south of Edmonton near Wetaskiwin.

Because he skipped court, the judge ruled Crier lost the right to be tried by a jury, so he will be tried by judge alone.

The trial, slated to begin Wednesday morning, is scheduled to last three weeks until June 28.

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