Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mother Who Drugged, Killed Daughter Asks for Forgiveness at Sentencing Hearing

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mother Who Drugged, Killed Daughter Asks for Forgiveness at Sentencing Hearing

Article excerpt

Mom faces life sentence in daughter's death

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CALGARY - An Alberta woman who drugged and killed her nine-year-old daughter begged the girl's father and her own family and friends for forgiveness at a sentencing hearing Friday.

Laura Coward, 50, pleaded guilty last month to the second-degree murder of Amber Lucius and is facing an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.

"I just want to say that every day, at every moment I miss my children ... loved them more than everybody will ever understand," Coward said through tears.

"I want to say to the father, my family, friends that I'm responsible for my choices and I beg for their forgiveness and I plead for your mercy," she told Justice Scott Brooker.

Coward's former husband, Duane Lucius, said earlier in a victim impact statement that he would never forgive Coward for the pain she has caused.

"I try to be strong for my family and friends," Lucius told Calgary Court of Queen's Bench. "I feel upset (about) how someone could do something like this to a little, innocent girl with a whole life ahead of her."

Holding a picture of Amber, Lucius told court he misses his daughter's warm hugs and thinks about her every day.

"I gave her mom time to spend with her, but Laura never thought it was enough. I will never forgive her and I will never forget my daughter Amber."

The girl was reported missing Aug. 31, 2014, and her mother was arrested two days later near Sundre in west-central Alberta. She was standing outside a burned truck in which her daughter's body was discovered.

Coward had Amber for the weekend and, on a trip to a remote area, gave her a toxic but non-lethal dose of a prescription sleeping medication. She mistakenly thought Amber was dead and filled the truck -- with Amber unconscious inside -- with paper and plastic totes before setting it on fire with a propane torch and closing the door.

An autopsy suggested the girl died of a combination of hypothermia, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide toxicity. …

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