Convicted killer Travis Vader will learn his fate on Wednesday, Jan. 25, when Justice Denny Thomas is set to deliver his decision in the high-profile case.
Closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday in Vader’s manslaughter sentencing hearing.
It is not known how Lyle and Marie McCann were killed or in what order the elderly St. Albert couple died, but the Crown has asked for a life sentence for the second killing and a sentence of 15 years for the first killing of the McCanns.
“Certainly, after committing the first manslaughter, it would’ve been very apparent to him that his actions would’ve caused life-threatening injuries,” Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson said.
The defence said the Crown hasn’t proven aggravating factors of the crime so the sentence should be four to six years, which essentially amounts to time served for Vader.
“Given the extraordinary length of the pre-trial detention, it actually would amount to six or six-and-a-half years of pre-trial credit,” defence lawyer Nathan Whitling said Wednesday.
“The circumstances of this case very much boil down to speculation. Nobody knows what occurred with respect to these charges. The McCanns’ remains have not been found and there were no witnesses there at the time and so it is impossible to say exactly what actions resulted in their death.”
Vader’s lawyer had argued his Charter rights were violated while in pre-trial custody so he should receive a sentence reduction.
Thomas rejected one part of the Charter application Tuesday that Vader’s rights were violated by a strip search.
Thomas said written reasons for his decision would come later but pointed out that Vader claimed he was humiliated as he stood naked for five minutes while people walked past his open cell. A video revealed it was actually 30 seconds and no one passed by.
“Some of these incidents, of course, are just Mr. Vader’s version – and there’s some credibility issues here,” Thomas said.
He also questioned why it took Vader so long to complain about the strip search.
The defence has also argued Vader’s right to access counsel was violated and guards used excessive force against him on more than one occasion.
The defence is responsible for proving on a balance of probabilities that violations happened for a successful Charter challenge.
Vader was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2010 deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann.
The McCann family is currently in Australia, so Thomas agreed to set up a virtual presence so the family can watch the sentence being handed down on Jan. 25.