Man guilty in swarming death of Calgary teen released pending appeal
One of the men convicted of second-degree murder in the beating death of Lukas Strasser-Hird six years ago has been released pending an appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada.
Strasser-Hird, 18, was found severely beaten in an alley behind the former Vinyl Nightclub, in the 200 block of 10 Avenue S.W. on November 23, 2013.
He was taken to hospital but later succumbed to his injuries.
Five young men were identified and charged in his murder. Four of the suspects were convicted as a result, but one of those men has now been allowed to walk free pending an upcoming SCC appeal.
Assmar Shlah, who was convicted of second-degree murder alongside Franz Emir Cabrera and sentenced to 12 years in jail, appealed his conviction to the Alberta Court of Appeal in May.
The majority dismissed the appeal, but one justice on the panel dissented, saying the appeal should have been allowed and either an acquittal entered or a new trial ordered.
Because of this decision, Shlah was able to file an appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada and allowed to apply for bail pending the outcome of the appeal.
In a decision heard on July 30 and released on August 8, Justice Jo'Anne Strekaf granted Shlah's bail application, saying that his appeal had merit, he did not pose a flight risk and was not a risk to public safety either.
"He has no previous criminal record and was released on bail, both pending trial and pending his appeal to this Court, without breach of his release conditions," she wrote in her decision.
Justice Strekaf also noted that Shlah had a "lengthy history of bail compliance."
Lukas' father Dale Hird wrote about his disappointment with the decision on his son's memorial page on Facebook, saying it was an "outrage that a convicted and sentenced killer gets to go home and to school to wait for an appeal."
Hird said it's a "mad world" and erodes public confidence in the Canadian justice system.
Shlah's appeal is scheduled to be heard on November 15, 2019.