Edmonton man sentenced to more than 12 years for manslaughter in death of 6-month-old son

An Edmonton man has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years for manslaughter in the 2017 death of his six-month-old son.

Christopher Lamarche, 27, had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jarock Humeniuk but was found guilty earlier this month of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sterling Sanderman delivered the sentence Thursday morning in an Edmonton courtroom, characterizing Jarock’s death as “the brutal killing of an infant.”

"It is absolutely necessary to underline, with emphasis, society's revulsion for such a heinous act,” he ruled. "There's not a greater position of trust than a father caring for their child. You breached that position of trust in an unbelievable fashion.”

Sanderman cited how the assault involved sustained shaking and twisting of a vulnerable child who was in Lamarche’s care.

“This was a child who was totally dependent on his caregivers,” he said. “You sought no help after you inflicted these injuries.”

“You went to sleep. This is callous behaviour showing complete indifference to the plight of your son. He has been fatally injured by you and you do nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

On May 28, 2017, the infant was found at a home on 142 Avenue and 77 Street by emergency workers with fatal head, back and rib injuries.

His death was first considered suspicious and later classified as a homicide.

Lamarche was charged in 2019 following a police operation where he confessed killing his son to an undercover officer.

Crown prosecutor Bonnie Parker argued for a 16-year sentence, stating Lamarche’s moral culpability was “at the highest end of the range.”

“He abused an exceptionally young child,” she said. “He bent his six-month-old son in ways that a baby should never be bent.”

Defence lawyer Evan McIntyre argued for a sentence of between eight and 10 years, saying Lamarche was sorry for what he had done.

“Mr. Lamarche made a horrific, life-altering mistake that night,” he said. “He has to live with what he has done here.”

Lamarche declined the opportunity to address the court on Thursday.

Court also heard several victim impact statements written by relatives of Lamarche and Jarock and read out by Parker.

“Everything he could have been was taken away and I will never have the chance to experience any of those things with him,” Jarock’s mother wrote in a statement.

“My life has felt incomplete since May 28, 2017 and I have yet to find a way to cope.”

Lamarche received enhanced credit for 930 days already spent in custody and has 8 1/2 years remaining to be served.

He is also banned from possessing firearms for 10 years upon release and must provide a DNA sample.