Calgary teen Alex Radita's final birthday photos released by judge at parents' murder trial
WARNING: This story contains photos that may be disturbing to some readers
Photos of Alex Radita at his 15th birthday party in January 2013 show he was emaciated more than three months before being found dead at home, weighing just 37 pounds.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Karen Horner, who is presiding over the first-degree murder trial of Alex's parents — Rodica, 53, and Emil Radita, 59, granted a request by the CBC and other media for the photos to be released.
- Alex Radita, 15, weighed 37 pounds when he died, murder trial hears
- Radita murder trial: teen suffered for months leading to death, diabetes expert testifies
The Raditas, who once lived in B.C., had their son seized by social services in that province in 2004 after he nearly died from untreated diabetes — the same allegations they now face in relation to his death, according to prosecutor Susan Pepper.
The testimony of Dr. Daniele Pacaud, a University of Calgary professor who works at the Alberta Children's Hospital, continued through Thursday after she took the stand Wednesday morning.
The pediatric diabetes expert said Alex's height and weight at the time of his death put him in less than the first percentile of children his age, according to data used by the World Health Organization.
Aside from being emaciated, Alex was also covered in about 30 bedsores. Pacaud testified that he should have been seen by a medical professional after the first one occurred.
One of the necrotic sores was on his neck and was so deep it appeared to be down to the bone and would have required surgery to treat. Pacaud testified it would have taken weeks or months to reach that state.
But under cross-examination, Pacaud told Andrea Serink, Rodica's lawyer, that dating bedsores is very difficult and could not nail down a timeline for when Alex developed the wounds.
She said she did not take into account Alex's family history when forming her report relating to the condition of his teeth, or when she placed him in less than the first percentile of children based on his height and weight.
On Wednesday, Pacaud testified Alex's teeth were in "extremely poor shape."
Jim Lutz, who represents Emil Radita did not have any questions for Pacaud.
Court heard evidence on the first day of the trial that EMS encountered about 20 people who were inside, kneeling, chanting and praying when called to the family's home in May 2013, according to paramedic Deborah Baumback's testimony.
Police said at the time that Alex, who had Type-1 diabetes, died from a bacterial infection that arose from complications stemming from neglect and starvation.
The Raditas had several adult children who also lived in the home, but none of them were charged.