Friday was a bittersweet day for the family of Lukas Strasser-Hird. One of the men convicted in the swarming death of the 18-year-old was denied a second bid for release on bail pending a mandatory life sentence. But in a surprise turn of events, lawyers for all three men convicted in the case filed a motion under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which could see their convictions stayed.
“It would be the equivalent of a finding of not guilty,” Assmar Shlah’s defence lawyer Balfour Der said.
Der told Global News it comes down to the amount of time it has taken from start to finish, which in this case, lawyers say has been unreasonable.
Watch below: Global’s past coverage of the case
“There has been a recent Supreme Court of Canada case that has upheld this and there are some time periods listed in that case and we feel we are beyond what is reasonable here,” Der said.
“It’s a nightmare; our lives are a continuing nightmare,” said Strasser-Hird’s father, Dale Hird.
“Just when you think you can sort of take a breath and sort of move on a little bit, you can’t–because there’s people that want to get away with murder.”
In June, a Calgary jury found Shlah and Franz Cabrera guilty of second-degree murder. The jury found Joch Pouk guilty of manslaughter.
Shlah and Cabrera face automatic life sentences with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.
Hird is left hoping justice will prevail.
“So they all want to get away with murdering my son,” he said. “So let’s just hope sanity prevails here and Calgary is going to support us. There’s no way they should get away with murder…I think there will be public outrage if these guys get away with murder.”
The delays haven’t ended in the case. A sentencing hearing has been postponed several times.
A new date has yet to be scheduled as the third anniversary of Strasser-Hird’s death approaches.
He was beaten, kicked and stabbed to death in November 2013.