mi-jason-will-120830

Jason Will, wearing a hat, is seen as he entered a Regina court house in August for sentencing following his manslaughter conviction. (Joana Draghici/CBC)

Jason Brian Emil Will, the Regina man convicted of manslaughter in the death of an 18-month-old boy, has not eaten in more than a week as a form of protest against his not winning bail, as his conviction appeal proceeds through the courts, his family says.

Earlier this year, Will was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2009 death of Raime Myers, the son of Will's partner at the time.

The 25-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Will filed an appeal and asked to be released from prison during that process.

However, on Sept. 17 his request for bail was turned down.

CBC News was told Thursday that Will was not pleased with the decision and has stopped eating.

Bob Hrycan, Will's  lawyer, was asked if he tried to talk his client out of such a move.

"It's his decision," Hrycan said. "He's bound by his own conscience. That's something that he has to decide to do."

Hrycan said the hunger strike move, while unusual, was understandable.

"In his circumstances, I don't find it difficult to understand," he said.

Hrycan expanded on that by expressing concern over how the case has been reported by news outlets.

"Essentially the conviction and the appeal have become a media sensation," Hrycan said. "He's being tried and retried in the media and he's not been given an opportunity to state his case, and won't have that opportunity until a full appeal is heard."

mi-toddler-myers

Raime Myers was 18-months-old when he died. (Family photo)

According to court documents, the Crown prosecutor on the case has acknowledged Will's conviction was based upon circumstantial evidence, but says the guilty finding at trial was well-founded.

The judge who considered the bail application said the nature of the crime, in which Will was found to have smothered Myers by placing his hand over the boy's mouth to stop him from crying, was such that public confidence in the courts would be diminished if Will was released prior to the appeal being heard.

During his trial, Will testified he did place his hand on the boy's mouth, but denied he was responsible for Myers' death. He found the child unresponsive, and the boy was taken to hospital.

Myers was declared dead on July 11, 2009. He had been in hospital for about two days.

With files from CBC's Geoff Leo