‘The medical evidence says it was a homicide’: Closing arguments trial of couple accused of killing 6-year-old
Daryl Slade, Postmedia News
Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2015
Meika Dawn Jordan died in 2011. Colleen De Neve/Calgary Herald
Spencer Jordan and Marie Magoon were stressed out, angry and fighting because of their financial woes and they took out their frustrations — cruelly and violently — on his six-year-old daughter Meika, a judge was told Monday.
“Both of them assaulted Meika in a manner consistent with the medical evidence,” Pepper told Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Rosemary Nation. “Meika’s death is clearly caused by several unlawful acts and the medical evidence says it was a homicide.
Lorraine Hjalte/ Calgary Herald Spencer Jordan and Marie Magoon as they were arrested in connection with the murder of Meika Jordan. He was Melka's biological father and she was her stepmother.
The court was told that Meika was forced to run stairs — up and down, up and down, for hours on end, for at least two days, maybe more. Sometimes, her hands were tied; often, she was pleading, begging for a chance to just sit down and rest. When she simply cannot do it again, an adult dragged her up and down by her hair, pulling out large clumps of it in the process.
“The motive for their actions was the theme of the day — that Meika was not doing what her father told her to do — to run the stairs. How you wouldn’t see that you were setting the child up to fail, so you could beat her … you wouldn’t see that if you were an abusive, violent person.”
Family Photo/Calgary Herald Meika Jordan
Pepper said Meika was crying, pleading and begging as she was being so horribly assaulted during the punishment.
The girl suffered five significant blows to the head, abdominal injuries and cuts and bruises throughout her body. She was taken to Alberta Children’s Hospital on Nov. 13, 2011, and died the next day of blunt force trauma.
The prosecutor noted that both accused admitted in Mr. Big interviews culminating an eight-month undercover operation in October 2012 that they caused injuries.
It started with
Magoon acknowledging she inflicted third-degree burns on the girl’s hand by holding a lighter under it for possibly two minutes, causing Magoon and Jordan to conceal the injury by asking Meika’s mother Kyla Woodhouse not to pick her daughter up on Nov 12 as scheduled.
Jordan told the covert officer that he punched the girl in the stomach as hard as he could, threw her up and down the stairs several times and swung her around by the feet several times, hitting her head on hard objects.
Magoon also admitted to bending the girl’s finger back, pulling her ear, pushing her a number of times, among other abuse.
Magoon’s lawyer Allan Fay said that while his client clearly admitted she caused the burn to the hand and did some other assaultive acts on the girl, including kicking her in the butt and spanking her with a wooden spoon, none of these injuries were anywhere near fatal. He said his client was not acting jointly with Jordan to abuse Meika.
Darryl Slade/Calgary Herald Kyla and Brian Woodhouse outside the Calgary Courthouse Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Kyla is Meika's biological mother and Brian is her stepfather.
Fay told the judge she could convict his client of aggravated assault for the burn, but not homicide — first-degree or second-degree murder or manslaughter.
He also said that many of her admissions to the fictitious crime boss were lies or embellishments “after significant inducements or threats” made to give him what he wanted to hear, and she did so, so she and Jordan could stay in the fake organization that had treated them so well.
“She does not believe she inflicted any fatal injuries on Meika,” said Fay. “She admits she caused the burn and she regrets that but it’s clear it was not life-threatening.
“Despite the fact these two people are inflicting injuries, they are not acting in concert, they are acting independently.”
Jordan’s lawyer Mitch Stephensen, alluding to Magoon’s interview with Mr. Big, said the court could not use any statements made by one accused against the other, either as fact or corroboration.
He said Magoon has every reason to lie to Jordan “if she did something to Meika.”
Stephensen’s final arguments will continue Tuesday.
With a file from Valerie Fortney