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Man charged in Lethbridge triple murders
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Thursday, May 14, 2015 12:11PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 14, 2015 6:47PM MDT
A Lethbridge man is facing second-degree murder charges in the deaths of three people at a west side townhouse last month.
Police were called to a home at 230 McGill Boulevard W. at about 2:30 a.m. on April 28th for a check on welfare and found three people dead inside.
An autopsy determined that Kyle Devine and Clarissa and Dakota English were stabbed to death and police say there were targeted.
On Wednesday, a 21-year-old man was arrested in connection to the death of the three and was charged on Thursday.
Austin Lane Vielle is charged with three counts of second-degree murder and police say he was known to the victims and had been with them in the hours leading up to their deaths.
“Our investigation hasn’t revealed that it was a planned murder or anything deliberate so that would be basically the short version of why it went to second-degree murder and not first-degree murder,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Woods, Criminal Investigation Section.
At the time of the murders, Vielle was released on recognizance in connection to a previous incident, earlier in the month, where he was charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats after a physical altercation with Kyle Devine.
Police say one of the conditions of the recognizance was that Vielle was to have no contact with Devine.
“Initially we identified a few people of interest and as our investigation progressed we were able to eliminate some and obviously Mr. Vielle remained a person of interest and then became a suspect and obviously now an accused so after he was in custody on other matters we continued our investigation to get to the point where we were able to charge him with the murders,” said Sgt Woods.
Investigators have recovered forensic evidence and several knives alleged to have been used in the murders and say the evidence indicates the accused acted alone.
Lethbridge Police Chief Robert Davis read a statement expressing the condolences of the department to the victims’ families.
“I know that nothing we do can ever change or lessen your grief but I hope knowing the person responsible is in custody and will face justice and that this will help ease your burden. To the family of the accused, I’m sorry that, through no fault of your own, you must too cope with the aftermath of this tragedy. The murder of three members of our community is a horrific crime. Clarissa, Dakota and Kyle were loved and cherished by their family, their friend and had their whole lives ahead of them. No one deserves to die such a violent death and as a society we must never forget that,” said Chief Davis.
Shortly before Vielle was officially charged, Laurie English sat in the police station across from the man accused of stabbing her children to death and says she wanted him to answer the questions that have been keeping her up at night. “I was in tears. I begged him to tell me what happened.”
English says she’s not surprised Vielle has been charged but says her family still has a lot of questions. "Why he did it. If they went through pain. If he did it in the their sleep. He just looked at me straight in the face with no emotion. No nothing. He just stared at me."
Vielle has been remanded to the Lethbridge Correctional Centre and is scheduled to appear in court on May 21.