Dad STEVEN DARRELL FADELLE was convicted of 2nd-degree murder in the death of his 3-month-old son almost 18 years ago. While in prison, he confessed to the crime. It's the usual--unemployed and "frustrated" dad who bashed the baby's head in during a diaper change. (Note that this is 3rd story with this theme that we have posted today.)
Well, that WAS the story. Now Dad has a new wife, and she--in all her touching naivete--is pressuring him to change his story. Now it was just an "accident," a misunderstanding don't you know. Just like all the baby's other fractures were a misunderstanding I'm sure.
Interesting backstory on Dad. He has a prior conviction for sexual assault as well. But I'm sure we'll be hearing that this was just another one of those "accidents" and misunderstandings. Yup indeed.
Baby killer rescinds confession
Man, who later admitted hitting son, denied day parole
By PATRICIA BROOKS ARENBURG Staff Reporter
Tue. Nov 17 - 4:46 AM
It has been almost 18 years since three-month-old Christopher Fadelle died at the hands of his father.
His killer, Steven Darrell Fadelle, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of the Digby baby and has been in a federal prison for more than 15 years.
He eventually admitted that he killed his little boy.
But no more.
"Apparently, you believe you have been wrongfully convicted and have sought the assistance of a group to help you deal with a process to prove your innocence," the National Parole Board wrote last week after Mr. Fadelle’s bid for day parole.
The 45-year-old, who was sentenced in June 1993 to life with no parole for at least 15 years, initially maintained his innocence but later accepted responsibility for hitting his son.
The little boy died in hospital on Dec. 8, 1991, two days after he suffered a skull fracture. The court heard that Mr. Fadelle banged the baby’s head on a bathroom vanity during a diaper change.
Doctors also discovered several other fractures to his arm, leg and ribs and pinholes on the soles of his feet — the result of three weeks of abuse, the court heard.
Mr. Fadelle claimed at trial that Christopher’s mother could have delivered the lethal blow, but the trial judge ruled otherwise. Mr. Fadelle also lost his appeal of the decision.
While in prison, he "claimed (he) snapped at that moment due to accumulated frustrations associated with being unemployed and fearing being trapped in another relationship," the board’s decision said.
But now Mr. Fadelle claims that Christopher’s "death was accidental and your responsibility lies in the fact that you were negligent, not violent," the decision said.
Mr. Fadelle also told the board that he "took legal advice to tell (corrections officials) what they wanted to hear. Only recently, with support, you were able to tell the version which you deemed to be the truth."
For the past 15 years, he has taken programs targeting sex offenders (he has a prior conviction for sexually assaulting a girl), family violence and substance abuse. He earned security privileges to work and was granted escorted temporary absences from prison to visit family.
It was during one of these visits that Mr. Fadelle met and married his current wife, and that’s when his outlook changed, the board said.
"She believes in your innocence and that your confession to murder was to appease your (case management team)," the board wrote.
"You became skeptical of (the correctional service’s) commitment to manage your case in a fair manner."
Officials noted inappropriate behaviour during visits with his wife and her children in a prison visiting area, which continued even after he was counselled about this behaviour, which was not detailed in the decision.
His case management team consulted a psychologist, who rated his risk for future violent or sexual offences as moderate.
"Until you take full responsibility for your criminal actions, (the psychologist) does not believe your risk can be safely managed in the community."
This regression led corrections officials to move Mr. Fadelle from minimum security to medium security. He is unable to get a halfway house to agree to take him, and without that, he is ineligible for day parole.
"There (have) not been sufficient positive changes in your attitude and behaviour to conclude that your risk would be manageable on any conditional release," the board said, adding "that a release for you would constitute an undue risk to the public."
Instead, the board suggested working toward a minimum-security rating as well as more escorted and unescorted temporary absences before day parole would be considered.