TORONTO – A Toronto jury is now weighing the fate of a mother accused of staging a home invasion to cover up the murder of her disabled daughter.Justice Todd Ducharme gave his final instructions to the jury and released it for deliberations just before noon Saturday.Cynara Ali, 16, died in 2011 after she was taken off life support at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Story continues below
While her cause of death was never conclusively established, defence lawyers have argued her mother Cindy, 45, smothered her with a pillow because she was tired of caring for the teen, who had cerebral palsy and could not speak or eat without assistance.Cindy Ali called police on February 19, 2011 claiming that men had broken into her home demanding a mysterious “package.”She claimed that one man ordered her around the house to retrieve the package, while another stood guard over Cynara. Ali testified that she later saw that same man holding a pillow where investigators found traces of Cynara’s blood and saliva.Ali said the men eventually fled the home after telling her the must have targeted the wrong house.Several weeks later, Ali’s husband supplied police with a handwritten apology letter purportedly from the home invaders, saying they’d been sent to the wrong house by “the boss.”Crown attorney Rosemarie Juginovic said the letter “makes a completely unbelievable story even less believable.”Defence lawyer Christopher Hicks said Cynara was a “a handicapped child treasured by all as a blessing, a gift, not a burden.”Ducharme instructed the jury it can find Ali guilty of first- or second-degree murder, or find her not guilty.
© Shaw Media, 2016