Calgary

Patricia Couture charged in daughter's death 'distraught,' according to lawyer

The Calgary mother accused in the death of her disabled daughter was released on bail Thursday morning, but remains "distraught," according to her lawyer.

Patricia Couture, 68, was released on bail on Thursday morning

Patricia Couture is charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life to her disabled daughter. She was released on bail on Thursday. (Court sketch by Janice Fletcher)

The Calgary mother accused in the death of her disabled daughter was released on bail Thursday morning, but remains "distraught," according to her lawyer.

Patricia Couture, 68, was charged on Wednesday with failing to provide the necessaries of life after Melissa Couture, 38, died in the home she shared with her mother.

"She's distraught and extremely tired," said defence lawyer Andre Ouellette.

The petite 68-year-old appeared in the courtroom in person, looking frail.

Couture had been a single mother to Melissa her whole life, according to neighbours.

Melissa Couture, 38, was found dead inside her home on Tuesday. (CBC)

Ouellette described his client as a dedicated mother who would often sleep on the floor so her daughter wouldn't be alone.

Police and paramedics were called to the home in the southwest community of Woodlands on Tuesday at 3 a.m., where they found Melissa unresponsive.

She was pronounced dead shortly after.

Couture's first concern is making funeral arrangements for her daughter, says Ouellette.

But getting his client released isn't Ouellette's only concern. 

"She was browbeaten by police and accused of murder," said Ouellette. He called police tactics "completely inappropriate."

"They showed a complete lack of respect for a person's rights."

Defence lawyer, Andre Ouellette represents Patricia Couture and is concerned about how she was treated by police (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Couture is set to appear in domestic docket court on Thursday morning, when the bail hearing is expected to take place.

Aside from the developmental disability, Melissa also had a chronic medical issue, according to police.

The medical examiner deemed Couture's death suspicious and the homicide unit became involved.

An autopsy was to take place Wednesday but police have not released the results.

Couture is back in court May 26.

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