Skip to main content

Crown argues manslaughter in trial for Regina mother accused of killing son


Closing arguments in the trial of a Regina mother accused of killing her son were held on Thursday, with the Crown arguing their case for manslaughter.

Co-Crown Attorney, Adam Breker, opened closing arguments at the Court of King’s Bench stating the evidence as a whole shows Chelsea Whitby's guilt of manslaughter, changing the second-degree murder charge against Whitby.

Posing two questions, Breker asked the court if Whitby’s son, Emerson, sustained an injury after or during the night of June 9 2020, which ultimately lead to his death.

If the answer was yes, then the next question was if Chelsea Whitby inflicted those injuries. If that answer is yes, he surmised, she is guilty of manslaughter.

Breker argued that in a circumstantial case, like this one, it is imperative to look at all the evidence together, rather than separate pieces.

He argued that on June 9, 2020, there were multiple witnesses who took the stand during trial who said that Emerson had none of the bruises on his face, seen in photos of him on the 10th the day or night before.

He pulled into question Chelsea’s timeline, saying she was steadfast that she went to grab Emerson at 10 a.m. and found him unresponsive in multiple interviews.

She had stated to the court that it was only minutes after, when she called 911.

Court heard that the recording of the 9111 call was at 10:13 a.m.

When confronted with this fact in a video police interview, the court saw the video of Chelsea becoming aggressive and emotional.

In another taped interview presented to the court she said, “Whatever happened to Buggy, however it happened, I did not do it intentionally.”

In his testimony, Breker surmised that the bruises on Emerson’s head were consistent with the internal damage and haemorrhaging that ultimately led to his death.

Chelsea testified that Emerson had been moving around and readjusting himself in the monitor when she had checked in on him, about ’30 minutes before she found him lifeless.’

Breker also questioned Chelsea’s state of mind, saying her lifestyle had recently changed with her partner and his two daughters moving in.

He added how “overwhelmed she felt and how frustrated she would get with Emerson and her life at times.”

Breker spoke to how she admitted to using violence when frustrated with Emerson, as a witness also testified.

In closing, Breker stated the Crown submission is that Chelsea Whitby violently assaulted Emerson on the morning of June 10 and the assault resulted in blunt force trauma to his head causing acute bruising and an acute haemorrhage.

“Emerson Whitby was a tough little guy, but he could not survive the violence he sustained that morning,” he said.


Defense lawyer Darren Kraushaar addressed the court saying the circumstantial charge of manslaughter brought forth by the Crown is manufactured from pieces of evidence.

He said the Crown appears to have developed a theory of the case, and taken “bits and pieces” of evidence to come together, stating this theory is then speculative.

He argued that Emerson had a previous brain injury, and that the death was caused by a re-bleed from that prior injury.

Kruashaar argued that the Crown ignored medical evidence from one of their own witnesses, Dr. Robinson, an expert on brain injuries.

Kruashaar stated that Robinson said it was possible that a pre-existing brain injury could bleed, and could bleed with no trauma.

He argued that the vomiting Emerson experienced earlier in the day on June 9 could be a symptom of a re-bleed, and that civilian testimony said that Emerson wasn’t quite himself, like refusing to go up the stairs, something that was out of character for him.

He argued against the Crowns’ assumption that he was perfectly healthy on June 9, and stated that in the pictures seen of Emerson the night before, his hair was down and you could not see the forehead.

Defense added that Riley Jolly, the victim’s father, said he saw a ‘little red v’ on June 9 on the toddlers’ head, and that it was bigger the next day.

He argued that after cleaning up Emerson’s vomit on June 9, Chelsea called her mother and asked if she should take him to the doctor then, showing care for her son.

“Sometime after supper, there was that very obvious change in behaviour of Emerson,”

Kruashaar argued that was testified by those watching Emerson on the evening of the 9th. He attributed this to the re-bleed of a previous brain injury.

“I don’t believe there’s anything in it or the evidence as a whole to reject it,” Kruashaar argued of Chelsea’s statement.

In closing, he stated that the most reasonable explanation is “that this was an accident, that it was a re-bleed caused by some event, that it very likely occurred in the care of the Jolly’s, it fits with the evidence.”

The judge is expected back in court on Aug. 31 with a decision. Top Stories

Stay Connected