Thursday, 3 March 2011

FILICIDE: Ontario: Erika Mendieta sentenced

Mar 2 2011 Peter Small
A judge has sentenced a North York mother who fatally beat her 2-year-old daughter to 6 years in prison.
Although Erika Mendieta repeatedly struck Emmily Lucas on the head and body with enough force to cause serious harm, she did not know death would result, Justice Nola Garton said Wednesday.
“The beating of Emmily on Nov. 13, 2003, was an abhorrent act of violence against a defenceless, vulnerable child and a gross violation of Ms. Mendieta’s position of trust in relation to her daughter,” the judge said.
But she acted impulsively, the Ontario Superior Court judge added.
Mendieta, 34, had used physical discipline on Emmily in the past, but with nowhere near the level of violence as on that day in her North York townhouse, Garton said.
In a moment of frustration as she rushed to pick up four of her other children from school, she lashed out at the cranky girl, severely injuring her head and spine, the judge found.
After she returned 20 minutes later, she soon realized how badly injured Emmily was and frantically called 911, the judge said.
The tot died in hospital 10 days later.
Mendieta sat quietly in the prisoner’s dock Wednesday, showing no emotion.
After 15 months are deducted for pre-trial custody, she will serve four years and nine months more behind bars.
On Jan. 17, Garton found her guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of second-degree murder.
Outside court, defence lawyer Bob Richardson called the sentence fair. He had asked for four to six years. The Crown called for 10.
“It’s just a really tragic and sad situation for everybody. Nobody wins,” he said.
It was the final chapter in a twisted saga.
Mendieta’s first trial ended with a hung jury in 2009 after her former common-law husband, Johnny Bermudez, stunned the court by testifying he was the real killer.
Her second trial ended in another mistrial last November after the jury and Mendieta complained that a prosecutor formerly working on the case was distracting them by making faces as he sat among the spectators.
A third was held in front of Garton without a jury.
Derrick Parra, 35, Emmily’s biological father, told reporters he hoped Mendieta regrets what happened and will emerge a more responsible person.
“This offers a lot of closure right now,” he said. “We can go today to the cemetery and put a couple of flowers on Emmily’s grave and say it’s over.”
Parra’s sister, Selena, who raised Emmily from birth only to have her taken away by Mendieta in 2003 and killed four months later, said no matter what the sentence, her niece is gone forever.
“The only memories I have are in my heart and those memories are never going to be taken away from me,” she said, her voice breaking.


  1. How much of a tragic a child has to endure in order for the culprid to pay for her/his actions, no child should suffer any beating at all, no matter how cranky a child gets! If a child cries is because either she/he is hungry, or has pain, but no one is the wiser, no parent is known how to be a parent, they learned as they go, yet this woman had no right on being a parent, much less should've not been near a child for any reason... Maybe she'll learn maybe she won't, only time will tell, but in the mean time life was taken from that little angel at a short age, where everything should've been laughter, everything was pain... Hopefully her other children don't grow up to be like her or ever become her, time is cruel, yet is from our children that we learn as time passes us by...

  2. crazy bitch, couldn't even take care of her own child -_-

  3. c.a.s.has failed many children.they are not accountable to anyone.How could they not have monitored emmily lucas.Emmily was taken from a loving home and beaten to death in three months.6years for murder.The whole system needs to put more value on a chids life.

    c.a.s and the police have failed my granddaughter Kiarra ,shame on you.

  4. I went to elementary school with Erika, knew her for a long time. I heard rumours of her killing her child from various people but didnt believe it...still can`t believe it. Killing a child even out of anger is unfathomable to me...