Six-year-old Meika Jordan was bright, happy, and likes to play. In her mind, a perfect day was when she caught ladybugs and shared a Slurpee with her little brother. On November 13, 2011, someone called 911 in a panic, and the little girl was rushed to the hospital.
Meika fell down the stairs, her father and stepmother told the police.
But the injuries she had didn’t fit that story.
Meika’s hair was tangled and missing chunks.
Her tiny body was full of bruises, and the palm of her hand was burned to the third degree.
She had serious injuries to her abdomen, including a cut to her pancreas and a torn liver. However, the worst injuries were to her head.
Meika died at the hospital the next day.
How could a simple fall down the stairs cause injuries that were so bad?
The Calgary Police Homicide Unit started a long investigation into her de*ath right away.
Meika’s family was split up. She lived with her biological mother Kyla Woodhouse and her stepfather Brian Woodhouse for half of the time. The other half was with her real father, Spencer Jordan, and stepmother, Marie Magoon.
Early on, it was clear that Jordan and Magoon were the only ones who could have k*illed Meika. Why someone would k*ill a beautiful and innocent little girl wasn’t clear.
Calgary Police Homicide Det. Mike Cavilla, who was in charge of Meika’s case, said that his team worked around the clock to get the evidence they needed to bring charges. Jordan and Magoon went on with their lives in the meantime.
They didn’t spend much time feeling sad about it. Instead, the year after Meika died was full of new starts and business opportunities.
They finally had a group of friends who got them. They went out on double dates, got drinks, and had a good time.
About a month before Meika’s de*ath had been a year, there was a big break in the case.
Jordan and Magoon were arrested by police. Father and stepmother of the child were accused of killing her.
That was the first step on a long way for the little girl to get justice.
During the trial for first-degree m*urder, details of the police investigation were made public.
Detectives used a number of undercover methods to find out what happened. One of these was a “Mr. Big” sting operation, which involves setting up realistic situations with the goal of getting suspects to confess.
Officers have to follow strict rules when running a “Mr. Big” sting operation, and since a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in 2014, those confessions are usually not allowed in court.
In this case, undercover police officers made friends with Jordan and Magoon and asked them to join a fake criminal group.
They had to prove they could be trusted by saying they k*illed Meika Jordan, a crime for which they were already suspected.
That meant that each suspect had to go see “Mr. Big,” who was a police officer playing a crime boss.
Investigators finally found out how badly Meika had been hurt, starting with the horrible burn on her hand. Magoon had put Meika between her legs, grabbed her hand, and burned it with a lighter.
There was proof that the little girl had been tortured for days before she died.
She was hit over and over again and told to run up and down the stairs over and over again.
Jordan said he punched his daughter so hard in the stomach that she fell over.
She also got hit in the head several times very hard.
At the end of the trial, both Jordan and Magoon were found guilty of second-degree murder, which is a less serious charge.
They were given life sentences with no chance of getting out for 17 years.
That’s when a flurry of appeals and court rulings began.
The court case would go on for years, making Meika’s mother and stepfather feel like they were on an emotional roller coaster.
Even though Jordan and Magoon were found guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree mu*rder, they didn’t like it. They wanted their convictions overturned and their sentences shortened.
While that was going on, prosecutors kept trying to get the convictions changed to first-degree mu*rder.
The Alberta Court of Appeal made a rare decision more than five years after Meika’s de*ath. Both Jordan and Magoon’s convictions were changed from second-degree mu*rder to first-degree m*
urder. On November 27, 2017, just before the sixth anniversary of Meika’s dea*th, Canada’s highest court upheld that decision. The nine Supreme Court Justices made their decision in less than 10 minutes. Jordan and Magoon have been found guilty of k*illing Meika Jordan in the first degree.