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Closing arguments heard at trial into 2013 swarming death of Lukas Strasser-Hird

Five men charged in the swarming death of Calgary 18-year-old Lukas Strasser-Hird. Global News

WARNING: This story contains graphic language. Discretion is advised.

Closing arguments were delivered to the jury and packed courtroom Thursday in the 2013 swarming death of Lukas Strasser-Hird.

Strasser-Hird was beaten, kicked and stabbed outside of a southwest Calgary bar on Nov. 23, 2013. He died several hours later in hospital.

Assmar Shlah, Franz Cabrera, Jordan Liao and Joch Pouk are all on trial, accused of the second-degree murder of the 18-year-old. A fifth man – Nathan Gervais – is charged with first-degree murder. He went missing weeks before the trial and a warrant remains out for his arrest.

READ MORE: Canada-wide warrant issued for Calgary man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the Lukas Strasser-Hird case

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The absence of Gervais played heavily into all four defence attorneys statements. In his closing arguments, Crown prosecutor Ken McCaffrey insisted “that fact does not make any of these four men any less guilty.”

Gavin Wolch, representing accused Franz Cabrera, asked the jury to find his client not guilty.

“You can’t convict a young man of murder because he said stupid things when he was drunk,” Wolch said.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a horror story in there,’ father says as Strasser-Hird swarming trial enters 5th week

He was referring to several comments witnesses testified he made to them following the incident, as well as text messages he sent, including one that reads, “Bro, I just stabbed someone for Assmar.”

Wolch claimed the comments were “mostly equivocal drunken ramblings.” He also stressed the high level of intoxication of his client, which McCaffrey strongly contested.

READ MORE: ‘I couldn’t do anything about it’ – Friend of Lukas Strasser-Hird witnessed swarming attack

David Chow, who is defending Joch Pouk, admitted Pouk is guilty of assault, but said he should be acquitted of second-degree murder because he disengaged when more assailants stepped in.

He said his client was “championing” his friend who he believed had been sucker-punched by the deceased. He referred to all the accused as “kids” at the time of the attack, adding, “at 20 you haven’t earned this distinction of manhood yet.”

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READ MORE: ‘I didn’t murder anyone’: accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death

McCaffrey disagreed, saying, “Lukas’ death was caused by the intentional and depraved actions of these four men and Mr. Gervais.”

He referred to a conversation Pouk had with an undercover police officer following the incident about being “f–ked and looking at doing 15 years.”

“I ask you, if he’s not guilty, how could he be f–ked?” McCaffrey said to the jury. “He said his friends ratted him out — I say because there was something to rat out — and he said ‘all four of us were involved.'”

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