Edmonton soldier found guilty of attempting to kill children in house fire

An Edmonton soldier accused of trying to kill her three children was found guilty of all counts against her.

The woman, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban to protect her children, was charged with three counts of attempted murder and two counts of arson following a house fire at CFB Edmonton in 2015.

The 10-day trial ended on February 17, when the judge heard testimony from multiple witnesses, including the woman’s children and ex-husband.

The woman’s ex-husband told the court that their relationship was very difficult, and that he was supporting wildfires in northern Saskatchewan when wildfires broke out in CFB Edmonton on July 20.

“My children were scared of me because I was told I would hurt them,” recalled the couple’s father of three.

At the time of the fire, the children were living with their mothers, and their parents were involved in a fierce custody battle.

According to evidence presented at the trial, the mother had been informed by her ex several days before the fire that she would be the primary caregiver for the children after they went to summer camp.

Instead, the mother took the children to the West Edmonton Mall and “stayed” at the Fantasyland Hotel and Galaxyland Amusement Park.

King’s Court Judge John Little found that the accused had subsequently formulated a plan. First, she sent her $10,000 and her one note to a male friend. Upon returning home with her children, she removed her smoke detector and let her children sleep in the same room. She stayed with them and ignored their initial complaint that there was a fire in the basement.

All four escaped the fire with the help of neighbors.

Justice Little said, “[She]decided it was better to die with her children than to lose them to their father.”

The woman pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial.

She is under strict house arrest until a sentencing date is set for March 10.

The children now live with their father.

Using files from Alison MacKinnon and Amanda Anderson from CTV News Edmonton.

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