Calgary Double Homicide

"Man accused of murdering best friend and father found not guilty" - CBC "Crown says evidence sufficient to prove Calgary man guilty of murder in death of father and son" - Calgary Sun "Murder charges OK'd in 2017 double homicide in city's northwest" - Calgary Sun

Judge rejects claim of police terror tactics

Police manhandling of a suspected drug dealer’s passenger was not a “terrorist tactic,” a judge said yesterday in rejecting a Charter application. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Earl Wilson said the “dynamic takedown” conducted by police in arresting [the] alleged gang member was lawful. Wilson rejected a suggestion by defence lawyer Pat Fagan the conduct of TAC team members who arrested [the accused] and his passenger fell into the “realm of police-state terrorism.” In written arguments to support [the accused]’s ...

Judge stays drug charges after Crown breaks deal

A judge Monday stayed charges of trafficking in cocaine and marijuana against a Calgary man because the Crown reneged on an agreement to do so two years ago. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Paul Chrumka agreed with defence lawyer Pat Fagan's argument that the charges against the accused, which arose from an investigation into drug dealing in Meadow Lake, Sask., in 1997, were an abuse of process. ``The agreement envisioned him not being charged with conspiracy and trafficking in cocaine ...

Seized money to pay for legal defence

An alleged member of a drug gang can use more than $32,000 seized in a major RCMP bust to pay for his legal defence, a judge ruled Thursday. The money was seized by local RCMP as part of a massive drug bust last September involving 300 officers from Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary and led to the arrest of 42 suspects. Some of the cash was also seized Aug. 23,1999. Altogether, $290,000 in cash and 1.6 kg of. powder and ...

Cop couldn’t pick

The lead investigator in a heroin trafficking case couldn't pick the suspects out of a photo lineup - but his civilian partner could, court heard yesterday. RCMP Const. Len Pizzacalla admitted he was unable to identify the accused, 26, and the co-accused, 23, when he viewed two lineups 11 days after purchasing 56 grams of heroin. But Sgt. Ross Shapka later testified the Crown's star witness, Cau Tien, selected both accused as being present when Pizzacalla made the buy. Pizzacalla ...

Police marijuana case goes to pot

A police bid to sniff out a marijuana grow operation went up in smoke yesterday when a judge ruled a search warrant invalid. Justice Vaughan Hembroff agreed with defence counsel Pat Fagan that the information used to obtain the warrant from a justice of the peace contained inaccuracies. But Hembroff said "youthful enthusiasm," not dishonesty on the part of police investigators was what led to the fatal breach of the accused's rights. The Court of Queen's Bench judge threw out ...

Accused gets cash back

A destitiute farmer whose only asset is a condemned shack can use cash that the Crown alleges are crime proceeds to pay for his defence, a judge ruled yesterday. Justice Jack Waite granted an application by an accused marijuana grower to have $5,950 in seized money placed in his lawyer's trust account. The money was a seized by RCMP officers under proceeds of crime legislation during a Jan. 26, 1998, raid on a southeast Calgary home. The accused, 33 told ...

Not guilty of woodland pot

A Hay River man was found not guilty of a trafficking charge laid after eight kilograms of marijuana were seized in a wooded area of town last November. Judge Bernadette Schmaltz didn’t feel there was enough evidence to convict the accused, 45, following a trial in territorial court on June 24. The accused’s lawyer, Patrick Fagan, said the essence of the Crown’s case was that the accused had a wood-cutting license for the area where the drugs were found, and …

Teen cleared in fatal fight

STRATHMORE - A Chestermere teen charged with manslaughter after a fatal fist fight is not guilty of the crime. A collective gasp filled the packed Strathmore provincial courtroom yesterday as Judge Gordon Clozza read his verdict. "I find the accused did not have the necessary intent to cause bodily harm to the deceased...," he said. "I therefore find the accused not guilty of manslaughter." Crown prosecutor Danny Elliott and defence lawyer Patrick Fagan gave their final arguments March 22 in ...

Teen was fed up before deadly fight

A teenager accused of killing a schoolmate with one fatal blow was fed up of being called a mama's boy and a pansy. In a Strathmore courtroom Thursday, the fresh-faced teenager spoke calmly and articulately in public for the first time about the deadly fight -- his first fight ever -- between him and victim Tyler Trithart in a Chestermere park on May 25, 2001. ``It was to put an end to all this mama's boy and pansy stuff,'' testified ...

Suspect admits hitting victim

STRATHMORE - A teen on trial for manslaughter in a fatal pre-arranged fight had never punched anyone before and did not intend to inflict any serious harm on Tyler Trithart, he testified yesterday. The accused - who fought 16-year-old Trithart last May at James Peake Park in Chestermere - said problems between the two arose after he heard rumours that Trithart was calling him "a mama's boy" and "a pansy" behind his back. The 17-year-old accused, who was 16 at ...

Crown: Accused ‘dressed’ for blood: Defence contends death in fistfight was a freak injury

Changing clothes before heading to duke it out with a classmate is a clear indication a teen charged with manslaughter knew blood would spill and someone would get hurt, court heard Friday. Crown prosecutor Danny Elliott said the act of changing from a sweater to a T-shirt proves the 17-year-old accused should be found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Tyler Trithart. "He changed his shirt so the anticipated blood would not soil his nice sweater," Elliott told Judge ...

Boy ‘didn’t intend to harm’

STRATHMORE - The decision on whether a deadly fight was a "freak" accident or a deliberate act now lies with an Alberta judge. Crown prosecutor Danny Elliott and defence lawyer Patrick Fagan gave their final arguments yesterday in the case of a 17-year-old charged with manslaughter in the death of the victim, 16. Fagan said his client, who can't be named under the Young Offenders Act, didn't mean to kill Trithart in the May 25 incident. "The result of the ...

The finer points of killing while drunk: Men who kicked a victim to death get another kick at the legal can

On October 21, 1992, the accused beat and kicked the victim to death in downtown Calgary. At the ensuing trial in 1993, the two cousins were convicted of second-degree murder. But the Supreme Court of Canada, upon appeal, decided last year that the trial judge had not properly instructed himself on the finer points of drunkenness as a defence. Two weeks ago the retrial was cut short when the accused agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter. Between 1976 and 1988 …

‘Tyler dropped to the ground’: Schoolmates recall deadly fight

A fatal fight between two Chestermere schoolmates was relived in court Tuesday before friends and family, many of whom wore pins and T-shirts bearing the victim's name. Strathmore's only courtroom was filled to capacity as five witnesses retold in detail how the victim, a 16-year-old Chestermere High School student, died after a blow to the head during a fight that was reportedly over a girl. The teen accused of killing him is charged with manslaughter. The first witness, a 17-year-old ...

Teen found not guilty in fatal fist fight

The judgment Tuesday on a deadly fist fight opened a floodgate of emotion that poured over Strathmore's only courtroom. One boy walked from the courtroom, free to grow up, enjoy his friends, have a family and live his life -- albeit one that is inexorably changed. Another boy is dead, and as his father charged out of the courtroom after a not guilty verdict was read, he revealed the pain his family has suffered. The accused, a 17-year-old Chestermere boy, ...

First blow likely fatal, ME testifies

One blow to the head was enough to kill a Chestermere teenager who entered into a deadly fight with a fellow high school student last spring. The 16-year-old boy was killed May 25, 2001, after he was knocked to the ground and punched several times by the accused, who is on trial charged with manslaughter in a Strathmore courtroom this week. The victim and the accused cannot be named under the Young Offenders Act. "I would suspect the fatal injury ...

Trial ends with surprise manslaughter plea

The Supreme Court-ordered retrial of two men accused of murder came to a surprise conclusion Tuesday when the pair pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. The accused, both 37, will serve two years and one year respectively in addition to the four years they have been in custody. "These decisions are always extremely difficult," Crown prosecutor Gary Belecki said of the protracted negotiations that led to the guilty pleas for the drunken beating death of the victim on ...

Sentence fails to ease friend’s pain

Robert McRobbie wishes he and friend Ranji Bhar had never come to the aid of a man being beaten in a parking lot outside a Macleod Trail bar last year. If they had just walked away, Bhar might still be alive, McRobbie said outside Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday after his friend’s killer was sent to jail for 15 months for manslaughter. “If I knew then what I know now, I should never have jumped to that man’s aid,” …

Killer asks victim’s family for forgiveness

It began with a sucker punch, struck in drunken anger. It ended with tears and a plea for forgiveness. On Monday, SJE, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the beating death of 37-year-old Ranji Bhar. The stocky, dark-haired Calgary man broke down several times, sobbing as he asked Bhar’s family for forgiveness. “If I had a chance to move back in time, I would,” SJE said, his voice a mumble as tears streamed down his cheeks. “But nothing can change …