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Toronto mom guilty of killing severely disabled teen daughter

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 7, 2016 in Crime
Toronto - After deliberating this weekend, a jury found Cindy Ali, 45, guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of her 16-year-old daughter, Cynara Ali. The jury rejected the defence the girl died after a home invasion took place in her house.
On Friday, Justice Todd Ducharme of Ontario's Superior Court of Justice finished his charge to the jury and the jurors began their deliberations on Saturday. Yesterday, they came back with a verdict of guilty of first-degree murder. Immediately after the verdict was rendered, Ducharme imposed the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for 25 years upon the mother who insisted she was innocent.
On Feb. 19, 2011, paramedics responded to a call at a residence in Scarborough. There they found 16-year-old Cynara with a pillow on her forehead and without vital signs. She was transported to hospital and died two days later after being taken off life support.
Cynara had cerebral palsy and was characterized as being severely disabled. She could not walk, talk or feed herself. Her mother told authorities a home invasion took place and one man remained with Cynara while the one took her to another part of the home. The men eventually realized they had the wrong home and left.
In March 2012, Ali was charged with manslaughter, failing to provide the necessaries of life, attempting to obstruct justice and fabricating evidence. She was released on bail.
In October 2012, the manslaughter charge was upgraded to first-degree murder and Ali again was released on bail.
Ali pleaded not guilty to murder and took the stand in her defence. She testified two men dressed in black knocked on the door, barged in, and said they were looking for a package. Ali managed to break free from a man with a gun and go into the living room where she saw the other man holding a pillow near Cynara who was pale and not moving.
Firefighters testified there was a light dusting of snow outside yet no water was found where Ali said the home invaders had been. And although drawers in the home had been opened, their contents had not been rifled through as would be expected if someone was looking for something.
The Crown's theory was that after years of being the primary caregiver to a girl who functioned as an infant, Ali became fed up, intentionally killed her and created the story about the home invasion.
The defence argued Ali was a caring mother and that the girl suffered a seizure, either from the stress of the home invasion or from a lung infection she had at the time. The cause of Cynara's death was determined to be a lack of oxygen resulting from cardiac arrest. An expert called by the defence said the girl's death could have been caused by a seizure although strangulation could not be ruled out.
After the verdict and sentence, Ali's lawyer, Christopher Hicks, said some legal issues developed during the trial and he expects Ali will authorize an appeal of her conviction.
More about cindy ali, cynara ali, Firstdegree murder, mother kills disabled daughter, Home invasion
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