Couple attempting to overturn convictions in son's meningitis death heading to Supreme Court in May

The Supreme Court of Canada has set a tentative date to hear arguments as parents convicted in their toddler son's meningitis death continue the fight to have their convictions overturned.

David and Collet Stephan were found guilty of failing to provide necessaries of life to son Ezekiel

The Alberta Court of Appeal upheld David and Collet Stephan's convictions for failing to provide the necessaries of life to their son Ezekiel. Now the Supreme Court will hear their appeal in May. (Facebook/CBC)

The Supreme Court of Canada has set a tentative date to hear arguments as parents convicted in their toddler son's meningitis death in southern Alberta continue the fight to have their convictions overturned. 

Collet and David Stephan lived in Lethbridge when their 19-month-old son, Ezekiel, died in 2012. They will be asking for the country's highest court to either overturn their convictions or order a new trial.

The Stephans, who now live in Nelson, B.C., were convicted of failing to provide the necessaries of life to their son following a trial in 2016.

Jurors heard the Stephans treated their son with natural remedies and homemade smoothies containing hot pepper, ginger root, horseradish and onion. 

The Stephans refused to take the boy to a doctor even when he became so stiff he couldn't sit in his car seat.

Only when Ezekiel stopped breathing did the parents call 911. After days of being ill, he was eventually rushed to a local hospital but died after being transported to Calgary.

In November, the Alberta Appeal Court upheld the convictions. But because one of the three judges disagreed and found the couple should have been granted a new trial, the Stephans had automatic leave to have the Supreme Court of Canada hear arguments. 

The Supreme Court will hear arguments May 15, 2018. 

Prosecutors are still asking the Alberta Court of Appeal to increase the couple's sentences. David was given four months in jail while Collet was given three months of house arrest. A date for those arguments has not yet been set.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.