An eight-week jury trial for four people accused of second-degree murder in the swarming death of Lukas Strasser-Hird was underway in Calgary Wednesday.
Strasser-Hird, 18, was found outside a southwest bar Nov. 23, 2013–beaten, kicked and stabbed. He later died in hospital.
Franz Cabrera, Jordan Liao, Joch Pouk, and Assmar Shlah are all charged with second-degree murder for the death of Lukas Strasser-Hird.
A fifth man, Nathan Gervais, is charged with first-degree murder, but he went missing weeks before the trial. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
READ MORE: Canada-wide warrant issued for Calgary man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death
The Crown outlined its case to the jury on Monday.
The victim’s father, Dale Hird, sat with other family, as they heard details of the horrific killing.
“I don’t know if I could ever be mentally prepared,” he said. “It was even tough to hear the opening statement today. I knew pretty much exactly what happened and it’s tough hearing it out loud.”
Watch below: Global’s past coverage of the death of Lukas Strasser-Hird
It all started at Vinyl nightclub in downtown Calgary: the prosecution said Shlah became angry after having trouble getting his jacket from the coat check. Bouncers then kicked him out.
The Crown’s theory is that Shlah yelled a derogatory insult at one of the bar staff, and that’s when Strasser-Hird–an innocent bystander–got involved.
Strasser-Hird had just arrived back in Calgary from a Spanish-speaking country, and was quick to respond to Shlah’s words.
“He was sticking up to a bully. I kinda taught him to his whole life, but I kinda wish he didn’t this time,” Hird said.
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Court heard Shlah and Strasser-Hird stood toe to toe. Strasser-Hird was pushed; Shlah was hit in the face.
It’s alleged Shlah’s friends joined in, and Gervais ran to his vehicle to get a knife.
Bar staff broke up the fight, and Strasser-Hird was led to safety in the bar, but eventually left through a back alley.
The prosecution believes the accused waited for Strasser-Hird, then swarmed him.
Several witnesses tried to stop the attack and called police. Though Strasser-Hird was rushed to hospital, he couldn’t be saved.
The victim’s father plans to attend every day of the trial.
“We need justice, it’s very important. It’s been two-and-a-half years of a lot of pain, and the pain isn’t going to end after the trial. It’s maybe the beginning of trying to deal with this properly.”