February 16, 2017 5:15 pm
Updated: February 17, 2017 4:47 pm

Douglas Garland guilty of 3 counts of first-degree murder in deaths of Nathan O’Brien and grandparents

WATCH ABOVE: Nearly three years after five-year-old Nathan O'Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes went missing, Douglas Garland has been found guilty of first-degree murder in their deaths. Nancy Hixt reports.


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

The jury has found Douglas Garland guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes.

Crown prosecutor Shane Parker said he didn’t want to speak on behalf of the victims’ family, but didn’t believe they felt relief.

FULL COVERAGE: Douglas Garland trial

“I think they’re numb; they’re still processing,” he said. “They’ve lost Kathy, they’ve lost Alvin and they’ve lost Nathan.

“Who knows what Nathan would’ve grown up to be?”

Watch below: Crown prosecutor Shane Parker explains the family’s reaction to a guilty verdict in the Garland case

“They still have to be able to deal with that loss of three critical people in their family: grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephew… so this decision doesn’t change that. They still have to grieve.”

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

Parker said the case was different from other such trials because of the level of public input, explaining witnesses flew in from various locations to testify.

“People cooperating, people doing anything they possibly could do to help solve this crime—they did,” he said outside court. “Anything to do to help the community.”

Watch below: Crown Prosecutor Shane Parker reacts to guilty verdict outside court Thursday

For four weeks, the jury listened to disturbing details of the Crown’s case. They deliberated for eight-and-a-half hours before coming to a verdict Thursday afternoon.

The verdicts mean the 12 jurors unanimously agreed on the outcome.

Defence lawyer Jim Lutz said he was disappointed jurors didn’t find it to be a case where “reasonable doubt should have applied” after weighing the evidence.

“In a case like this, there really are no winners and I can’t think of a way to put a positive thing on this because everybody—both sides of the case—really has lost on this one.”

Watch raw video below: Douglas Garland’s defence team reacts to the verdict

Garland, 57, faces an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, but the judge could also rule consecutive periods of parole ineligibility should be imposed in the case. That means Garland could be jailed for up to 75 years before he would be eligible for parole.

Ten jurors recommended Garland serve consecutive sentences; the remaining two had no opinion.

Watch below: Forensic psychologist Dr. Patrick Baillie provides analysis and context on the verdict in the Douglas Garland case

Garland would be 129 years old before he’d be eligible for any kind of release if he receives consecutive sentences, as the sentence began on the date of his arrest.

The sentencing hearing has been set for Friday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. MT.

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

The Crown had alleged Garland had “stewed” over a petty grudge against the Likneses over a patent for a pump and had plotted their deaths for months—hunting them and dominating them.

Evidence of cyber stalking was presented from a hard drive found hidden in the Garland home.

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

“The hard drive was a window into the mind of Doug Garland,” Crown prosecutor Shane Parker told the jury Monday during final arguments.

The prosecution said Garland broke into the Liknes home by disabling the lock on their door after researching picking that particular type of lock.

Watch below: Mount Royal University criminologist Ritesh Narayan weighs in on the guilty verdict in the Garland case

Garland was accused of violently attacking Alvin, Kathy and Nathan, then unlawfully confining and kidnapping them before they were killed at the Garland farm. Their bodies were dismembered and destroyed.

Defence maintained Garland’s innocence and pointed out his DNA wasn’t found in the Liknes home.

Court heard DNA of all three victims was found at the Garland property. The Crown pointed to a pair of rubber boots seized from an outbuilding as key evidence in the case: DNA of Nathan, Alvin and Kathy was found on the boots. Inside the boots, Garland’s DNA was recovered.

Nathan and his grandparents were last seen alive June 29, 2014.

For information on the Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation, click here

With files from Erika Tucker

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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