Sentence increased for Calgary man who strangled wife, encased body in cement
The Alberta Court of Appeal has increased prison time for a Calgary man convicted of strangling his wife and entombing her body with cement in the basement of their home.
The appeal court has now added an additional three years to Shyback’s sentence, bringing his total sentence up to 10 years.
The panel of justices ruled the original trial judge’s “categorization of this manslaughter was demonstrably unfit,” adding two years for that offence.
An extra year was added for interfering with human remains.
“Considering all the circumstances, and having regard to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the respondent, the sentence imposed was demonstrably unfit,” the written ruling reads.
Mitchell, 31, was last seen alive on Oct. 29, 2012.
Shyback was later the target of an undercover police operation. He opened up to undercover officers in multiple recorded conversations during a police sting operation in Winnipeg.
He described a heated argument with Mitchell and said she lunged at him with a knife.
“I pushed back at her… At some point my hands were around her neck,” Shyback told the officer. “I remember trying to let go, trying to stop. And then she was gone.”
The recorded conversation continued with Shyback explaining he panicked and hid Mitchell’s body in the basement of their Ogden home.
“I boarded a little corner off. Mixed concrete. Poured it into the corner so there was a big kind of corner slab in the corner of the basement that was hidden by a lot of boxes and stuff,” he said.
Michell’s body was discovered in the basement of their home in a plastic bin encased in concrete.
Her mother, Peggy Mitchell, was in tears Thursday afternoon after receiving news of the increased sentence.
“It’s a weight off our shoulders,” Mitchell told Global News. “Relief.”
“We had said before it doesn’t really matter how long he gets… It’s out of our control.”
But Mitchell said Thursday the severity of the sentence does make a difference.
“It adds comfort. I’m glad he got more.”
Mitchell keeps a photo of Lisa in her bedroom and says she thinks of her daughter every day.
“I think of the things she’s missing out on with the kids,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell is raising her daughter’s children and knows one day they will ask questions.
She’s kept a record of all news articles and when they are ready, plans to explain what happened to their mother.
Shyback’s defence lawyer Balfour Der said he’s disappointed with Thursday’s decision.
“That’s the end of the road,” he told Global News. “There’s no further option of appeal.”
Der said he hadn’t yet spoken with his client.
“I know he will be disappointed.”
With credit for time already served, Shyback would have been eligible for release in the near future. Der said this decision will delay that process.
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