'Forgive me, Lord:' Manslaughter trial hears recordings of Calgary grandfather

CALGARY — A trial for a man charged in the death of his grandson has heard recordings of what appear to be the accused praying for forgiveness.

Allan Perdomo Lopez is charged with manslaughter in the July 2015 death of five-year-old Emilio Perdomo.

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The Crown played 11 police recordings in court Monday, including a phone tap and other probes from inside the family minivan and inside their home.

Sgt. Tony Acosta testified that he and his colleagues listened to 200 hours of audio and focused on any references to Emilio in an investigation dubbed Operation Hope.

Acosta said he was able to identify the voices of Perdomo Lopez, the accused's wife and their three daughters.

In one recording from Sept. 5, 2015, a man Acosta identified as Perdomo Lopez is apparently heard praying in Spanish in his Toyota Sienna.

"Forgive me, Lord. I know that I can't do anything now," he said, according to an English transcript of the recording submitted as an exhibit to the court.

The transcript said the grandfather then made references to going to Mexico, blackmail, "snakes and whores" and a "satanic demon."

"I wanted to help that child with all my soul, Lord ... I didn't want to kill that child."

Acosta, whose first language is Spanish, confirmed that the child Perdomo Lopez was referring to was a boy, not a girl.

In another recording from the master bedroom of the Perdomo home, a male voice can be heard weeping and praying in Spanish. Acosta testified that, too, was Perdomo Lopez's voice.

"I clamour to you Holy Father for mercy ... Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me," he said.

"I ask this ... forgiveness for what happened to this child. But if it was your will to take him, Holy Father, I cannot do anything."

The trial has previously heard Emilio died of blunt force brain trauma about a week after he was rushed unconscious to hospital.

A forensic pathologist who conducted the boy's autopsy testified there was not enough evidence to classify his death as either an accident or a homicide. Other expert testimony for the Crown suggested Emilio's injuries were inflicted by someone.

The trial also heard earlier that Emilio was a happy and healthy boy in Mexico, where he lived with his mother and grandmother, before he was brought to Canada. He died five months after his arrival.

The accused's wife, Carolina Perdomo, was originally charged in the death but the Crown stayed a manslaughter charge against her in February.

The Crown has closed its case. The defence is to begin submissions Wednesday.

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