Calgary Herald: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder raised as defence in murder trial

Calgary Courts Centre GAVIN YOUNG / POSTMEDIA

The mother of murder suspect Alan Devon Bird testified Tuesday she regularly drank and did drugs to the point of blacking out while she was pregnant with him.

In raising the spectre her son suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, Maria Bird told court she gave birth to six children after “partying” through their pregnancies.

Bird, 44, said that included the months leading up to Alan Bird’s October 1994 birth.

“It was just a life of partying and drinking whenever I could,” she told defence lawyer Derek Jugnauth.

Jugnauth will argue his client’s FASD made him more susceptible to being provoked when he fatally shot Jaime Orellana, 30, on Feb. 22, 2015, on the front lawn of a home in the 2600 block of Edmonton Tr. N.E.

Orellana had tried to break up an altercation between Bird and his girlfriend, angering the accused.

A verbal dispute between the two men escalated to Orellana punching Bird, now 24, who went inside and retrieved a handgun before shooting the deceased.

While such conduct would normally not reduce second-degree murder to manslaughter, Jugnauth will ask Justice Alan Macleod to rule his client’s FASD made him more prone to be provoked to act impulsively.

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