CanadaCourt to hear man's appeal of convictions in deaths of Calgary couple, grandson
Settlement reached in wrongful conviction lawsuit filed by Kyle Unger
A lawsuit filed by a man who was acquitted of a teenage girl's murder after spending 14 years in jail for her slaying has been settled out of court. Kyle Unger filed a statement of claim asking for $14.5 million in damages in 2011 against former Manitoba Crown prosecutor George Dangerfield, who was responsible for three other murder convictions that were eventually overturned. A spokesperson for Manitoba's justice department confirmed Monday afternoon that an out-of-court settlement had been reached. The suit was filed against Dangerfield, the RCMP and a number of other federal and provincial justice officials.
CALGARY — The Alberta Court of Appeal is to hear arguments today from lawyers for a man sentenced to life in prison for killing a couple and their grandson.
Douglas Garland is appealing his convictions of first-degree murder in the deaths of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O'Brien in 2014.
Garland, 59, is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 75 years.
Justice David Gates said during sentencing that Garland attacked the three victims in the Liknes home in Calgary, then took them to his farm, where he killed and dismembered them, burning their remains.
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Robert Leeming has been formally charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Calgary mother Jasmine Lovett, 25, and her toddler Aliyah Sanderson. Leeming, 35, who was brought to the arrest processing unit just after 11 p.m. Monday night, made a brief CCTV appearance before a justice of the peace Tuesday morning. His first court appearance will be May 14. More to come.
Garland's lawyers say one of the 10 grounds for the appeal is that the judge didn't exclude evidence found on the farm at the jury trial.
The notice of appeal says Garland is seeking a new trial or a conviction on a lesser offence.
Other grounds for appeal included in the document include concerns about comments the judge made to the jury.
"The trial judge's comments to the jury about coping with disturbing evidence reflected bias, was prejudicial to the defence case and undermined the presumption of innocence," the appeal notice reads.
Defence lawyers also argue the consecutive period of parole ineligibility is excessive and harsh in the circumstances.
The couple and the boy disappeared after a weekend estate sale at the Liknes home. The couple was about to move to the Edmonton area and planned to spend winters in Mexico. Nathan was on a sleepover with his grandparents.
Calgary man found guilty of first-degree murder in swarming death of Lukas Strasser-Hird
A Calgary man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the swarming death of Lukas Strasser-Hird. In court, Justice William Tilleman called Nathan Gervais’ actions “predatory and calculated." Tilleman said this was a case of constructive first-degree murder, and found Gervais physically restrained and forcibly confined the victim. Gervais smirked and laughed in the prisoners box as Justice Tilleman handed down the decision. First degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no parole for 25 years.
When his mother arrived the next morning to pick him up, she found a house with blood pooling on the floors and spattered around rooms. A child's bloody handprint was on the wall.
The Crown argued that Garland had stewed for years over a dispute with Alvin Liknes about a patent for an oilfield pump they had both worked on and had fantasized about Kathy Liknes as evidenced by photos of her found in Garland's deleted computer files.
The victims' bodies were never recovered. Bone fragments, burned flesh and teeth were found in the ash from a burning barrel on Garland's property.
No new trial for Travis Vader, appeal court rules.
Convicted killer Travis Vader's bid for a new trial has been rejected by the Alberta Court of Appeal. "We see no prejudice having befallen the appellant as a consequence of the trial judge's analysis, and no benefit in a retrial to test again whether the appellant should have been convicted of manslaughter," the appeal court said in a judgment released Friday. In January 2017, Vader was sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter in the deaths of St. Albert couple Lyle and Marie McCann.
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