B.C. man who killed stranger on bus released from custody on unrelated assault charges

Click to play video: 'B.C. man who killed stranger on bus released from custody on new charges'
B.C. man who killed stranger on bus released from custody on new charges
It's been almost eight years since an innocent man was fatally stabbed by a stranger on a Kelowna city bus. Tyler Jack Newton was convicted of manslaughter and served time in prison before being released and charged with more offences. Now as Kristen Robinson reports, he's been released from custody again – Oct 23, 2022

A B.C. man who killed a stranger on a Kelowna city bus while he was high on drugs eight years ago, is free on bail on assault charges related to an unrelated incident in West Kelowna last December.

Hours after he was the subject of a B.C.-wide warrant on Oct. 6, Tyler Jack Newton, 31, was arrested by Kelowna RCMP.

Read more: Kelowna’s bus killer apprehended after tips pour in

Newton, who was wanted on allegations of aggravated assault, using an imitation firearm, and assault with a weapon, was released from custody on $500 bail Friday.

“I’m concerned for the community at large,” Barb Dawson told Global News in an interview Sunday.

“He should be sitting in jail.”

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Kelowna RCMP speak out about prolific offender

Dawson was riding the bus on Oct. 30, 2014 when Newton, during a drug-fueled psychosis, stabbed 55-year-old Caesar Rosales in the neck and fled the scene.

Dawson said she and another man came to Rosales’ aid and tried to prolong his life as he bled heavily from a stab wound that went through to his throat.

Despite their efforts, Rosales, a business systems analyst for KF Aerospace, died on the bus floor.

“I still feel the repercussions from just trying to help Caesar,” said Dawson, who has struggled with PTSD since the incident.

Newton was arrested a day after the random and unprovoked attack and charged with second-degree murder.

He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and in June 2016, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

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Read more: B.C. man who killed stranger on bus finishes prison sentence, arrested again

Dawson said she’ll never forget looking into Newton’s eyes in the courtroom.

“I would call them … empty, no sense of empathy, compassion, nothing,” she recalled.

“All I saw was anger.”

After credit for time served, Newton spent close to four-and-a-half years in prison.

His criminal history in B.C. dates back to 2008 and includes 24 convictions – including drug charges, possessing stolen property, break and enter, theft, breach of probation, willfully resisting a peace officer, dangerous driving and flight from police.

Read more: Kelowna bus killer pleads guilty to new set of crimes, gets more time in jail

An Oct. 19, 2020 parole board document assessed Newton as a “high-risk and high-needs offender.”

“I can’t believe that he’s allowed to be at large,” Dawson told Global News.

Criminal lawyer Kyla Lee said cash bail typically signals the final straw before detention, and the onus is on Crown counsel to show an accused is a risk to reoffend, not attend court or flee – in order for bail to be denied.

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“Because there’s no suggestion of reoffending and no suggestion that he’d leave the jurisdiction, bail would be granted,” Lee told Global News in an interview Sunday.

“This isn’t a clear case where bail being imposed for some aggravated assault charges would not be abnormal in the circumstances.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. unveils plan to deal with prolific offenders'
B.C. unveils plan to deal with prolific offenders

Surrey South Liberal MLA Elenore Sturko told Global News the BC Liberals are asking the Attorney General to direct the BC Prosecution Service to request remand for violent repeat offenders who pose a risk to public safety.

“We’re looking at a person who’s actually killed someone, an innocent person,” Sturko said.

“It’s extremely concerning.”

Newton’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 2.


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