Father of toddler found dead outside Edmonton church released from jail

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EDMONTON — A man who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of his young son has been released from prison on probation after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Joey Crier and his then-girlfriend, Tasha-Lee Mack, have each been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Crier’s 19-month-old son, Anthony Joseph Raine.

The toddler’s lifeless body was found outside Edmonton’s Good Shepherd Anglican Church in 2017. Court heard the child was abused before he received a fatal blow to the head.

Crier, 31, was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison in August 2020. His sentence was however reduced to three years because he was assaulted in prison and spent much of his pre-trial period in protective isolation.

Documents released Wednesday by the Parole Board of Canada show Crier was granted statutory release, meaning he is still under community supervision, earlier this week.

They note that the board made the decision to impose special conditions, including a residency requirement, on Crier’s release “to protect society and facilitate (his) successful reintegration into society.”

Other specific conditions include following a substance abuse and mental health treatment plan, not having contact with certain people, not using alcohol or drugs, and reporting relationships with women.

“In the board’s overall analysis, it did not lose sight of the serious and violent nature of your index offense, which resulted in the death of the child victim,” the parole board document states.

“Your neglect and violent actions towards the child contributed to the child’s death and the harm and trauma to the victim’s family has not been lost sight of.”

During his sentencing hearing, Crier said in a statement that he was “truly and deeply sorry” for what happened.

The court also heard victim impact statements from Anthony’s mother, Dalyce Raine, who said she trusted Crier with their son and didn’t want to believe he was gone.

The parole board notes that Crier, who is Indigenous, was raised in a First Nations community where he was exposed to his culture and attended ceremonies and cultural events.

He says his parents separated when he was young and he was raised in an environment where he was exposed to substances and domestic violence.

Counsel says he accepted some responsibility for his actions and showed empathy for the victim during his time in jail, but appears to downplay the seriousness of his role in the offence.

He says Crier wanted to live with his mother in his home community, but two nearby residences accepted him.

“It is felt that you needed a high level of structure and support in your reintegration so that you did not engage in further violence or harm,” the parole board wrote. “There were concerns about your return to your home community regarding your safety.

“The council is also imposing a residency condition because it is convinced that in the absence of a condition requiring you to reside in a community residential facility or a mental institution, you will pose an undue risk to society.”

Mack was sentenced to 8½ years for manslaughter, which was reduced to five years due to the length of his sentence and harsh conditions in the remand center. She was granted day parole last year.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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