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Calgary father found guilty of manslaughter in the death of his infant son

Warning: This story contains details that may be disturbing for readers.

A Calgary father was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his three-month-old son, but guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

In his decision, Justice Glen Poelman says evidence shows Anthony Karl Kurucz assaulted Jayden Cyluck-Kurucz and caused his death, but the Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had the intention to kill him as required for a second-degree murder conviction.

On April 25, 2018, police were called to a home in Atlanta Crescent S.E. in the community of Acadia for a baby in medical distress.

Emergency crews arrived to find the infant unconscious. He died in hospital two days later after being taken off life support.

During the trial, the court heard the man’s 911 call in which he said he was trying to calm the baby down.

“My baby was freaking out,” he said on the call which was played in court. “I didn’t do anything wrong to him. I was just trying to calm him down and rock him.”

Jayden Cyluck Kurucz

During the call, Kurucz said his wife had taken the dog to the vet and described blood coming from his son’s nose.

Police said Kurucz’s story to medical staff was inconsistent with the boy’s symptoms and 17 months later, charged Kurucz in his son’s death, in September 2019.

Kurucz pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Darren Mahoney, argued that the child’s mother could have been involved, but Justice Poelman says there was no evidence to suggest she was and that the trial revealed Kurucz was alone with the child.

Justice Poelman said Kurucz was the “only person with a motive, even if a short-term motive,” saying the father became frustrated and angry with an agitated baby and the unexpected costs of a vet bill.

The court heard expert witness testimony that the baby suffered a brain stem injury and cardiac arrest consistent with being shaken or thrown.

Court also heard Kurucz confessed to hurting Jayden by putting him down too hard, throwing him head first into a chair, and that his “anger got the best of him” during an undercover operation by Calgary police.

Crown prosecutor, Hyatt Mograbee, asked for Kurucz to be held in custody for sentencing which was denied.

A sentencing hearing and arguments will take place at a later date.

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