Crown, defence point to 'whole picture' in closing arguments at Goforth trial

By Sarah Mills
February 5, 2016 - 7:17am

The Goforth trial is now in its final stages with closing arguments coming to an end.

Tammy and Kevin Goforth face charges in the death of a four-year-old girl and the abuse of a two-year-old girl. Their trial is now in its third week.
Speaking on behalf of his client Tammy Goforth on Tuesday, defence lawyer Jeff Deagle told the jury to see the whole picture before them.
He said a teen who spoke for the Crown lied that the girls were never fed, yet the teen is in family photographs around the dining room table.
Deagle said out social worker Alicia Ward lied on the stand about what information she provided to the Goforths, holding a document she claimed she read to them. Deagle reminded them the document was from September 2012 - after the girls were in the care of the Goforths.
Deagle argued the case rested on reasonable doubt and intent. He asked the jury to think of Tammy's emotions on the stand.
"That was raw pain four years later. Not shame, not guilt. Is that a woman who intended to kill or hurt?" Deagle said looking at the jury.
Both Tammy and the mother of the girls, who was present in court, were sobbing at one point.
On behalf of his client Kevin Goforth, defence lawyer Noah Evanchuk told the jury the police came to the Goforth home "not to look for all the evidence, but evidence to fit their theory of what they think happened."
Describing the night the two girls ended up in hospital, Evanchuk argued the Goforths behaviour was not of a person who intended to hurt or kill.
He pointed out to the jury the police photographs of the home show sippy cups and kid food bowls, evidence the girls were being provided for.
For the Crown, Kim Jones in his closing argument maintained that "through their acts and omissions, Tammy and Kevin Goforth failed in their duty to the girls".
Again the jury were asked to look at the whole picture, Jones telling them, "the medical photos speak for themselves. They speak volumes".
On the stand, the Goforths described the girls as slender.

"Is that what you think when you think slender?" Jones said.
Given that the two-year-old was taken to hospital by police, Jones again asked, "why was she fed and bathed at 1 a.m.? Were Tammy and Kevin trying to hide something?".
Asking the jury to draw their own conclusions, Jones rounded off by saying "these are experienced parents with three kids of their own. They failed in their duty of care to those girls".

"Do not fear the responsibility you have. Trust your gut. Trust your judgement and use common sense," he ended.

Justice E.J. Gunn now begins in instructions to the jury with deliberations expected to begin on Friday.

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