Convicted child killer Laura Coward begs ex, family in court – ‘I beg for their forgiveness and I plead for your mercy’
50-year-old Coward of Alberta, Canada, admitted poisoning then burning her 9-year-old daughter to death after custody battle
Coward had been with Amber Lucius for the Labor Day weekend knocked her daughter out with a non-lethal dose of a prescription sleeping aidin Sept, 2014
She filled the inside of the truck, with amber unconscious, with paper and plastic totes, closed the door before setting it on fire with a propane torch
She pled guilty to second-degree murder in Calgary, Canada in Feb, 2017
Coward, 50, received a life sentence with no chance of parole for 18 years
Amber Lucius. Poisoned then burnt to death by her own mom
A spurned Canadian woman, Laura Coward, who poisoned and burned her daughter to death has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for 18 years.
Coward, 50, pled guilty in a Calgary, Canada, courtroom last month to the second-degree murder of her nine-year-old daughter Amber Lucius. During sentencing, judge Scott Brooker said Coward’s sentence must reflect ‘society’s disgust and outrage’.
‘Amber was completely vulnerable to and trusting of her mother,’ said Brooker. ‘It was the ultimate betrayal for Ms Coward to kill her own daughter.’
Although Coward’s life sentence was automatic, it was up to Brooker to decide how long she’d have to wait before being able to seek parole, CTV News reports.
Brooker said Coward deserved credit for pleading guilty and for her apparent remorse, but he noted that she never explained her motive for murdering Amber.
Young Amber was incapacitated, then incinerated by a parent she trusted, she was scheduled to be returned to her father two days before her body was found
He added that the murder was vile, random and senseless and appeared to have been revenge against Coward’s former husband, Duane Lucius.
Court documents described a bitter divorce between Coward and Lucius.
A custody tug-of-war over their daughter had continued up until the girl was found dead.
Amber Lucius was reported missing in September 2014. Two days later her mother was arrested.
Police found a handwritten note by Coward on the truck’s front window that reads: ‘Help me. It was an accident. Locked keys in’
Amber laid unconscious here as her mother set the truck on fire with a propane torch
Police found Laura Coward near Sundre in west-central Alberta, standing beside a burned truck in which her daughter’s body was discovered.
Amber was spending the Labor Day weekend with her mom, on a trip to a remote area. Laura knocked her daughter out with a non-lethal dose of a prescription sleeping aid.
in her court btestimony Laura claimed she mistakenly thought Amber, who lay unconscious in the truck, was dead. She then filled the truck with paper and plastic totes before closing the door and setting it on fire with a propane torch.
An officer who found the remains of the torched truck saw a handwritten note by Coward on its front window that reads: ‘Help me. It was an accident. Locked keys in.’
Amber died of a combination of hypothermia, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide toxicity, an autopsy report suggests.
The charred interior of the truck where Amber was set ablaze
At Coward’s sentencing last week, she begged her ex-husband, friends and family for their forgiveness. ‘I want to say to the father, my family, friends that I’m responsible for my choices and I beg for their forgiveness and I plead for your mercy,’ she told Brooker.
Amber’s father Lucius told Coward that he would never forgive her for the pain she caused.
‘I feel upset [about] how someone could do something like this to a little, innocent girl with a whole life ahead of her,’ he said.
Lucius held back tears as he spoke outside the courtroom after Coward was sentenced.
‘No sentence will do justice for what has happened to Amber,’ he said. ‘As a father, I have had to bury my child and nothing will bring her back. I can only hope that other children are not being used as bargaining chips in a divorce or used to hurt the other parent.’
The murder may have been revenge against Coward’s former husband, Duane Lucius [seen in photo with Amber]
Originally, Coward was charged with first-degree murder, but she pleaded guilty to the act in the second degree last month.
Prosecutors proposed a 20-year parole ineligibility, while the defense asked the judge to consider allowing Coward to apply for release after 10 to 12 years.
‘There’s no way you could ever put into numbers how significant the offense is,’ defense lawyer Jim Lutz told CBC News. ‘Everybody’s pretty broken up about this.’
Three days before Amber was murdered, her parent’s divorce was finalized, confirming that her father would have full custody.
The charred truck was found in this meadow along with he suspect
Police found Coward here, standing beside the truck in which Amber’s body was discovered
Amber was supposed to be returned to her father two days before her body was found.
Coward told friends and her other daughter that she was taking Amber stargazing.
Instead, Coward drove them to a rural property, where she gave her daughter the sleeping pills.
In his 30 years as a prosecutor, Mac Vomberg said this is the most disturbing case he’s seen.
‘Virtually everybody who’s come close to this case has suffered,’ said Vomberg. ‘The damage done to virtually everybody involved is widespread and very traumatic.’
In his victim’s impact statement, her ex-husband Duane Lucius’ told the court: “‘today is another reminder of my devastating loss. Amber was an innocent child and a selfish act ended her life,’ Duane Lucius said.
‘I had only had one year with Amber to renew our bond as father and daughter. During that time Amber was always helping me on the farm and loved playing outside. She was a happy little girl loved by the entire community.’
Describing the impact his daughter had on his life, Duane Lucius said
‘Since the moment Amber was born, she was the light of my life. She was energetic, talkative and full of joy. I will never get to watch my daughter grow up, but I know she would have done great in life.
‘No sentence will do justice for what has happened to Amber. As a father, I have had to bury my child and nothing will bring her back. I can only hope that other children are not being used as bargaining chips in a divorce or used to hurt the other parent. No parent should ever take a child’s life just to get back at the other. We are supposed to provide our children with love, not scare them. Because of this situation she was taken away from me, and all who loved her, far too soon.’
Amber was my life and I will miss her every day until my end. I will never forget her,” concluded the grieving dad.