Thursday, February 10, 2011


“We recognize this has been a terrible ordeal for you and it’s tragic it has taken so long to uncover the flawed pathology that led to your conviction in 1995,”Justice Marc Rosenberg told Tammy Marquardt Thursday morning.

“We agree … there was a miscarriage of justice,” Rosenberg said on behalf of a three-judge panel."



PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Like Bill Mullins-Johnson, Sherry Sherret, two women who cannot be identified by name and Dinesh Kumar - all victims of Dr. Charles Smith who have been acquitted by the province's highest court often years after their conviction - Tammy Marquardt has looked to Ontario Court of Appeal to clear her name. (At least four other similar appeals are pending). Today's decision has done just that. Although the Court was unable to direct an acquittal because of the inflexible state of current jurisprudence, and a new trial had to be ordered, I truly hope that the Crown will withdraw the charge at the earliest opportunity. Anything else will wreak of vengeance.



"The Ontario Court of Appeal has quashed the murder conviction of a Toronto mother who was imprisoned for life on the basis of flawed testimony from pathologist Charles Smith," the Toronto Star story by Legal Affairs Reporter Tracey Tyler published earlier today begins, under the heading, "15 years later, court overturns child murder conviction."

“We recognize this has been a terrible ordeal for you and it’s tragic it has taken so long to uncover the flawed pathology that led to your conviction in 1995,”Justice Marc Rosenberg told Tammy Marquardt Thursday morning," the story continues.

"“We agree … there was a miscarriage of justice,” Rosenberg said on behalf of a three-judge panel.

Marquardt emerged from the second floor courtroom into a gathering of supporters.

She hugged her 5-month-old daughter, her niece and her lawyer, James Lockyer.

“Finally, the nightmare is coming to an end and I’m waking up,” Marquardt told reporters later outside Osgoode Hall.

The 38-year-old Scarborough native spent nearly 14 years in prison after being convicted of murdering her 2-year-old son, Kenneth Wynne.

Marquardt said the experience of having her child die and then having her two younger sons adopted out through Children’s Aid because of her criminal charges was like “having your heart ripped out and having someone squeeze it in front of your face.”

“I have been feeling anger for a long time, but anger isn’t going to do anything for me,” she said.

While other victims of Smith’s mistakes have since been acquitted, Marquardt’s “dilemma” is that fresh evidence in her case only allows a court to go as far as ordering a new trial, Lockyer told the court.

The evidence is still ambiguous about how the child died but strongly suggests he died as a result of an epileptic seizure, Lockyer said.

In his short life, Kenneth had suffered from asthma and pneumonia and had been treated for seizures eight times.

Smith opined the cause of death was asphyxia, likely the result of smothering or suffocation.

That remains a possibility, given an absence of hard evidence about why Kenneth died, the appeal court was told on Thursday.

At the same time, two neurologists from the Hospital for Sick Children who independently examined the boy’s medical records found his demise was consistent with a sudden unexplained death from epileptic seizure.

While three-judge panel set aside Marquardt’s conviction, the Crown has not indicated whether it intends to proceed with a new trial.

The court, meanwhile, extended Marquardt’s bail.

A few rows behind Marquardt in the courtroom on Thursday was her new baby, Tiffany, who was seated on her grandmother’s knee.

Marquardt was also accompanied by her boyfriend, Rick, and two men at the centre of other contentious murder cases.

One was William Mullins-Johnson , who spent 12 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murdering his niece on the basis of Smith’s errors.

The other was Gary Comeau, who is battling to overturn his conviction in connection with a Port Hope hotel shooting more than 30 years ago.

Thursday’s decision came after forensic experts reviewed the conclusions of the former pediatric pathology superstar and found them illogical and “completely” unscientific.

Smith’s evidence dovetailed with the Crown’s theory at the time, that Marquardt had suffocated Kenneth in a moment of anger and frustration.

But he was wrong in supporting the Crown’s theory and his testimony denied the jury the option of concluding the child had instead died as a result of a seizure, Crown counsel Gillian Roberts told the court.

Marquardt said she found him twisted up in bed sheets and obviously distressed. He was taken to hospital, but died three days later, after being taken off life support.

Nearly two years ago, Marquardt was released on bail. She had been incarcerated in the Grand Valley women’s prison in Kitchener.

Kenneth died 17 years ago, in October, 1993.

Her other sons, who she named Keith, now 16, and Eric, 14, live somewhere in Canada, but never had further contact with their mother.

Marquardt said she wants to get her name placed on a registry so they can find her one day if they want to.

“If they want to be in my life, my arms are open,” she said.

Last week, Smith was stripped of his medical license by Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He now lives in British Columbia."


The story can be found at:


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be accessed at:

For a breakdown of some of the cases, issues and controversies this Blog is currently following, please turn to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;;