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Ex-Pastor Convicted In Wife's Death Secretly Drugged Her, Crown Argues

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 04 Sep, 2019 07:24 PM

    TORONTO - Prosecutors are asking an Ontario judge to rule that a former pastor convicted in the death of his pregnant wife was the one who gave her a sedative before she drowned.

     

    The Crown is making submissions on what the court should deem as a fact in sentencing Philip Grandine, who was found guilty of manslaughter in February in the death of his wife Anna Grandine.

     

    Jurors were told they could convict Philip Grandine if they found he secretly drugged his wife with the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam or provided it to her; or he knew she had taken it and did nothing to stop her from getting in the bath while under its influence.

     

    Now prosecutors say the judge should rule that Philip Grandine surreptitiously administered the medication better known as Ativan to his wife, having stolen it from his workplace with the intention of incapacitating her.

     

    They are also asking the court to find that Anna Grandine, who went by Karissa, did not knowingly consume the drug.

     

    Anna Grandine was 20 weeks pregnant when she died in October 2011, and tests later revealed she had lorazepam in her blood despite never being prescribed it.

     

    Defence lawyers had argued she took the medication herself and either slipped and drowned in the tub or took her own life.

     

    Court heard at trial that Philip Grandine had recently stepped down as pastor after his affair with a parishioner, who was also his wife's friend, was uncovered.

     

    He then began working at a nursing home where he was responsible for distributing and disposing of medication, court heard.

     

    Superior Court Justice Faye McWatt will rule on the facts of the case at a later date, allowing the Crown and defence to make submissions on an appropriate sentence.

     

    This is Philip Grandine's second trial in connection with his wife's death.

     

    In the first trial, on a charge of first-degree murder, he was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

     

    The conviction was overturned on appeal, however, after Ontario's highest court found the trial judge had made an error in answering a question from the jury.

     

    A new trial was ordered on the manslaughter charge, precluding prosecutors from arguing Philip Grandine intended to kill his wife.

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