'This murder was motivated by vengeance,' Calgary man sentenced for stabbing death
A Calgary man has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years for repeatedly stabbing 20-year-old university student Brett Wiese at a house party in 2013.
Last month, a jury convicted 26-year-old Mitchell Harkes of second-degree murder, for a second time.
“Six-and-a-half years later, here we are still, again and same outcome,” said Brenda Wiese, Brett’s mother who said it’s been a gruelling several weeks to come to the same conclusion.
“We’re approaching 80-plus days in court now in regard to this whole situation, so it’s taking its toll,” she said outside the courthouse.
But Wiese said the outcome of the case speaks to the truth of what happened that night and the evidence.
Brett Wiese, a University of Calgary business student, was stabbed six times by Harkes, who crashed a northwest home where a back-to-school party was winding down in the early morning hours of Jan 12, 2013.
Harkes stormed in with the intention of seeking revenge after some of his friends were kicked out earlier that night.
A jury previously convicted Harkes in 2015 of second-degree murder, but that verdict was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal, which granted Harkes a new trial.
One of the party crashes, a teenage girl who can’t be identified because she was a minor at the time, was previously convicted of second-degree murder for the seventh stab wound Wiese suffered.
Another man, Colton Lewis was also stabbed by Harkes and suffered life-altering injuries, but survived.
“This murder was motivated by vengeance, there’s no excuse for what you did,” said Justice Robert Hall while reading the sentence.
“You broke into a private dwelling and you took the life of a fine young man. Society condemns you for what you have done and so do I.”
Harkes has been in custody since his arrest in 2013.
Outside court, Defence Lawyer Tonii Roulston said Harkes is remorseful.
“He actually broke down, he commented on the character of Brett Wiese and how badly he felt with respect to what had occurred that unfortunate evening, it was tragic for both families,” said Roulston.
Jody Wiese, Brett’s father, said they are worried there could be another appeal.
“There doesn’t seem to be any consequence to appealing and that’s what concerns us not just for us but anyone who has to go through this process,” he said.
The Wieses’ say they hope this was their final day in court so they can now move forward and cherish the memories of their son.
“He’s with us every second of every day,” said Brenda Wiese.
“His life was big and important and we miss him dearly and he work on a daily basis to honour him and to have his memory fresh.”