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Crown closes case in triple-murder trial of Douglas Garland; defence will not call any evidence

Douglas Garland arrest video
WATCH ABOVE: Video footage from the HAWCS helicopter of Calgary police arresting Douglas Garland.

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers might find disturbing. Discretion is advised.

Accused triple-murderer Douglas Garland will not testify in his own defence.

Lawyers for Garland told the court Thursday afternoon they will not call any evidence in the case.

Final arguments will begin Monday with the prosecution going first.

Justice David Gates will give his instruction to jurors on Tuesday, after which time they will begin deliberating.

WATCH:A shocking and sudden end to testimony at Douglas Garland’s triple murder trial. The crown rested its case and the defence decided to call no witnesses. That means we won’t hear from Garland himself, accused of killing 5-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents. Nancy Hixt reports.
Crown closes case in triple-murder trial of Douglas Garland; defence will not call any evidence
Crown closes case in triple-murder trial of Douglas Garland; defence will not call any evidence

Garland, 57, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of five-year-old Nathan and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes. The trio was last seen June 29, 2014 after an estate sale in their southwest Calgary home.

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READ MORE: Timeline – Missing Calgary family Nathan O’Brien, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes

Gates encouraged jurors to use the next few days to take time to “relax, meditate, get a massage” and added avoiding caffeine and alcohol would be a good idea.

He expressed concern for their well-being in light of “the disturbing evidence that was introduced during the course of this trial.”

“Give yourselves permission to experience reaction to what you have heard and seen,” he said, suggesting they start journals to help process their feelings.

Gates also reminded them of the confidential professional counselling that will be available to them following the trial.

Read the latest tweets from Nancy Hixt below and scroll down to continue reading today’s article

Earlier Thursday, the prosecution closed its case by showing infrared video and a dramatic tale of Garland’s arrest.

Court heard from a junior officer who ended up being the one to cuff Garland after just 18 months on the job with the Calgary Police Service.

Const. Jamie Parhar was on a night shift in downtown Calgary “1 District” on July 13, 2014, when the service asked for volunteers, if needed, to assist with the Garland investigation.

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Police had been following Garland for several days. Officers said their target had been circling the Airdrie property he lived on with his parents.

Moments later, Parhar and her partner were on the road to Airdrie.

A police cruiser in the grass during the arrest of Douglas Garland.
A police cruiser in the grass during the arrest of Douglas Garland. Calgary Police Service

“They wanted us to be on standby to conduct a traffic stop,” Parhar said.

Garland was being watched by the covert Strike Force Unit as he drove a silver Hyundai Accent rental car. At 12:30 a.m. on July 14, Parhar was told it was time to pull the car over.

But Parhar couldn’t catch up with the car. By the time they reached the vehicle, it was empty.

Court heard Garland was already out on foot, headed for his farm.

“It was pitch black,” Parhar said, adding they couldn’t see a thing. She and her partner decided to drive a police-issued Ford Crown Victoria through the field. But the car couldn’t handle the terrain.

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the Douglas Garland triple-murder trial

She soon found herself walking through waist-high grass, navigating around potholes, trying to catch an accused triple murderer.

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“It was awful,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to break into a sprint without breaking an ankle.”

“He was attempting to remain concealed by crawling through the tall grass.”

She turned down her police radio so Garland wouldn’t hear police movements.

READ MORE: Analysis of blood patterns tells graphic story of events in Garland triple-murder trial

It was so hard to see, Parhar said she didn’t realize Garland had switched directions and had headed for his parents’ house.

In the nick of time, HAWCS helicopter appeared overhead, guiding Parhar and lighting up the entire area with “night sun” technology.

The foot pursuit and arrest was all recorded on infrared video from the HAWCS camera.

Flight office Const. Lane Trim told court it was clear Garland was trying to hide.

“When someone is hiding, it makes it a little more difficult and our tactics need to change,” he said, describing Garland’s movements deeper into the trees and crawling through the thick brush.

READ MORE: Douglas Garland triple-murder trial sees graphic pictures from aerial photographer

The helicopter continued to circle the area.

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“I wasn’t concerned until HAWCS asked me where my backup was, my partner,” Parhar testified. “At that point, I realized I was alone.”

The rookie officer held back. Soon a CPS surveillance truck pulled up and two officers jumped out.

“Myself and my partner attempted to go into the trees,” as Garland himself walked out and went on the ground, she said.

Parhar handcuffed him and said she was breathing heavily, still trying to collect herself.

It was a stark contrast to her description of the accused, who she said was “very calm, very collected.”

Before the trial adjourned Thursday, Justice Gates told the jury they should come with their toothbrush on Tuesday, because once they begin deliberating, they will be sequestered.