Triple-murderer Derek Saretzky is arguing to have one of his murder convictions overturned.
On Monday, the Alberta Court of Appeal heard arguments from Saretzky’s lawyer as to why he believes his client should be acquitted of first-degree murder in the death of Hanne Meketech.
In 2017, a jury found Saretzky guilty of first-degree murder in Meketech’s death, and in the killings of Terry Blanchette and Terry’s two-year-old daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.
All three were murdered in the Crowsnest Pass in September 2015.
At Monday’s hearing, Saretzky’s lawyer took issue with a confession his client gave to police while in custody.
“It was solely dependent on the confession that Derek Saretzky made to the police in the remand centre six months afterwards, so he wasn’t given his right to speak with a lawyer,” Balfour Der said.
“The police specifically didn’t do that on that day.”
Watch below: (April 20, 2016) The new murder charge against Derek Saretzky is bringing mixed reaction from the people living in the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass. Global’s Tracy Nagai speaks with a neighbour who shared a chilling detail from the night Meketech died.
Der argued that if his client had been given the option to call a lawyer, he would have done so, and been advised against speaking with police.
He added that the trained officer Saretzky was speaking with was far more sophisticated than his client.
“He (Saretzky) was also obviously having some mental health issues,” Der said. “The guards describe him of simply sitting in his cell, staring at the wall pulling out hairs in his beard.
“There was a number of things going on with him at the time that, in my opinion, should have alerted the police that this young man, this 22-year-old high school dropout, in fairness, he should be allowed to speak to a lawyer.”
Crown prosecutor Christine Rideout disagreed, calling Saretzky “cunning” and “shrewd,” adding he had intentionally lied to police multiple times.
The Crown also said police made it clear Saretzky could return to his cell at any time.
The three appeal court justices who heard Monday’s appeal have reserved their decision.
Saretzky’s lawyer said Monday there is also another outstanding appeal that deals with his sentence of parole ineligibility for 75 years.
“Even if I’m successful here, that would leave 50 years with no hope of parole and I would still be appealing that to reduce it,” Der said.
Watch below: (Aug. 9, 2017) Almost two years after Terry Blanchette, his two-year-old daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and Coleman senior Hanne Meketech were killed in the Crowsnest Pass, the man responsible was given the maximum possible sentence. Quinn Campbell reports.