Doctor of Alta teen who killed youth worker says FAS like shotgun blast to brain

Canadian Press NewsWire. Toronto: Nov 15, 2007

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. _ The doctor of a teen suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome who murdered a youth worker says the malady has the same effect on the brain as a shotgun blast.

Sharla Marie Collier, 20, was killed Nov. 16, 2002, while out walking in a riverbed with a 14-year-old boy who was a resident at a home for children with fetal alcohol syndrome in Lethbridge, Alta.

The boy bludgeoned Collier with a large branch until she was unconscious, then sexually assaulted her.

Dr. Linda Storoz told a fatality inquiry into Collier's death Thursday that the syndrome - which occurs when the mother drinks heavily during pregnancy, literally shoots holes into the brain in a variety of places, irrevocably altering a child's potential.

The teen was transferred to adult court and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in June 2005. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.

Due to a publication ban imposed on the inquiry under Alberta's Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, the woman's killer, who is now 19, cannot be identified.

Storoz told the inquiry the teen was not generally violent growing up but experienced delusions and heard voices.

The inquiry also heard that since Collier's death the Alberta government is reviewing its policies on staff working alone and has established a system to ensure that patterns of patient behaviour are flagged for staff.

The inquiry will resume at a later date that has yet to be set.

Source: Lethbridge Herald

Fasstar Enterprises