Case Update: Trial In Progress for Alberta Father Accused of Murder of 1-Year-Old Ares Starrett

Ares Starrett
Ares Starrett.
(Justice for Ares on Facebook)

You may remember this story, which I’ve posted about multiple times in the past, often with considerable vehemence.

The murder trial of 33-year-old Damien Starrett of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada began on Monday, March 14, 2022 and is expected to continue into April. Damien is accused of second-degree murder in the November 2019 death of his son, Ares Starrett, who was beaten to death exactly one week after celebrating his first birthday.

Damien’s release in 2020 on a pathetic $1,000 bail caused some uproar in the community and online.

This man’s defense? He was asleep and doesn’t remember brutally beating his toddler son to death and then attacking his then-five-year-old daughter, who is now seven and will not be named due to a publication ban on her name and out of respect for her mom, Ashton Bishop. The publication ban was lifted on the names of the accused and his deceased victim.

Ashton Bishop and son Ares Starrett
Ashton Bishop and son Ares Starrett.
(Justice for Ares on Facebook)

Ashton is an incredibly tough mama who continues to fight for justice for Ares, whose name she plans to keep alive through yearly toy drives for needy children.

Links to external coverage of the trial:

Fort Saskatchewan father’s defence says he was in a sleep-state, has no memory of killing son (FortSaskOnline)

Alberta father claims he was asleep when he killed his infant son (CBC News)

Fort Saskatchewan father on trial for killing infant son, assaulting young daughter (Global News)

Fort Saskatchewan mother testifies against ex-partner about death of baby (CBC News)

Young girl describes father’s attack on her and her baby brother at Edmonton murder trial (CBC News)

Comfort dog Fletcher - Zebra Child Protection Center Instagram
Comfort dog Fletcher rested nearby while Ares’ 7-year-old sister testified at her father’s trial.
(Zebra Child Protection Center/Instagram)

Mother and sister of victim take the stand in Fort Saskatchewan murder trial (FortSaskOnline)

Jury dismissed in Fort Saskatchewan murder trial, publication ban modified (FortSaskOnline)

Judge dismisses jury in murder trial of father who admits killing infant son (CBC News)

Damien Starrett's punchable face
Damien Starrett’s punchable face.

Defence begins case in Damien Starrett murder trial (Edmonton Journal)

Not-criminally-responsible defense to be entered in Fort Saskatchewan baby death trial (Global News)

If Damien is found not criminally responsible, he may be placed in a mental hospital rather than prison. This man doesn’t need a mental hospital. He was more than mentally sound when he caused all kinds of trouble while out on bail, including trash-talking his children’s mother and posting hundreds of photos of his children on Facebook, which, in my opinion, only served to make him appear cynical and manipulative.

Damien made quite clear his disapproval of my blog posts about his case. My offer to speak with him on the podcast and allow him to tell his side of the story still stands.

Regardless, I have every intention of covering Ares’ story on the podcast once the trial is finished. This little boy deserves to be remembered and his mommy and sister respected.

Sources: FortSaskOnline; CBC News; Justice for Ares Facebook group; Ashton Bishop; Global News; the Edmonton Journal

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