A judge is recommending that an aboriginal woman convicted of killing her two-year old son spend 26 months in a “healing lodge” as punishment.
Justice William Tilleman agreed with a request from Livia Starlight’s lawyer that the woman should be remanded to the Okinawa Ohci Healing Lodge, located in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
Starlight pleaded guilty to manslaughter after being charged with second-degree murder. In September 2014, Starlight threw her child across the room. Traezlin Denzel Starlight died seven days later.
With credit for time already served, the 26-month sentence will bring Starlight’s total period of incarceration to four years — the minimum term required by a manslaughter conviction. Starlight’s “significant remorse” was a factor in the relatively light sentence.
The crown prosecutor indicated that before throwing the toddler onto a couch, the mother was annoyed by the child’s “whining,” which led to Starlight hitting and pushing her son. The arms of the couch where the boy landed were described as “very hard.”
When Starlight observed her child’s medical emergency, she noted in a text to her mother that “my baby’s not breathing, I’m scared.”
Despite efforts to save the child’s life, he suffered a heart attack while on the way to the Alberta Children’s Hospital and died seven days later.
“I’m so sorry for my lifestyle, I’m so sorry for my family who are here today,” Starlight said when she addressed the court.