WARMINGTON: Finally, justice for pregnant Karissa after 11 years

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There will never be an appeal for Anna Karissa Grandine.

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Or for the baby she was carrying for 20 weeks when she drowned in her bathtub in 2011.  Their sentence is for life.

But after 11 years, the person responsible for their deaths is going to prison. 


Philip Grandine’s appeal of his manslaughter conviction and 15-year sentence to the Ontario Court of Appeal was rejected. He was ordered Monday to surrender to authorities to begin serving his sentence.

“Our family can finally begin the process of healing knowing that Karissa and her child have found justice,” her sister, Hannah Darvin, told the Toronto Sun Tuesday. “Karissa was at her most vulnerable state, five-months pregnant with a baby girl and experiencing domestic abuse.”

Originally before the courts on a charge of first-degree murder, the former pastor was convicted of manslaughter in 2014.

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After appealing, a court ordered a second trial in 2019 in which he was convicted once again of manslaughter.

In his latest appeal, his legal team argued the trial judge made mistakes with the inclusion of certain evidence and also in the sentencing. 

A three-judge panel rejected both claims.

“The evidence supported the conclusion that the appellant would have had both general and specific knowledge of his wife’s risks in consuming lorazepam on the evening of her death,” wrote Justice K. van Rensburg J.A., with the other two justices on the panel agreeing.

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The court heard evidence that the bathtub’s plug was not removed after Karissa was submerged under the water and routine life-saving efforts were not undertaken.

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The appeal court judgment determined, “it was a reasonable inference that the appellant knew his wife had taken lorazepam on the earlier occasion and, knowing that she was exhibiting similar signs of sedation as three nights earlier, and having conducted searches, he knew or believed she had taken it again” and “knowing the serious effects of the drug on his wife that had led to her hospitalization only days earlier, the appellant had a duty to intervene when he knew she was going to take a bath.”

The judges also ruled Grandine was “a registered nurse practitioner working at a retirement residence where the evidence was that such drugs were routinely administered, such that he would have been familiar with their general side effects.”

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The whole thing has been a nightmare for this family which came to Canada from Pasay City in the Philippines with hopes and dreams and no inkling it would end up in such horror. If the torture of her death was not enough, then came the slow-moving and tricky legal system that really put them through the ringer for more than a decade.

“During the last 10 years, Grandine has been free on bail despite two trials, two appeals, and two guilty verdicts,” said Hannah, who sat through years of hearings with her mother Maria Charito Darvin.

“We are heartened to know that he will finally be in custody for a crime he was convicted of not once, but twice,” she added. “Our courts must continue to send a clear message that victims of domestic abuse matter and that women and mothers are protected against these violent acts.”

No matter what message is sent, this wonderful family are all too aware there will be no parole or second chances for Karissa or her baby who would have turned 11 this year.

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