Calgary police say two men have been charged after they allegedly helped Nathan Gervais, a suspect in the murder of Lukas Strasser-Hird, flee Canada to Vietnam before his trial in 2016.

Gervais, 23, is charged with first-degree murder with Strasser-Hird's death in November 2013.

He failed to appear in court for his trial three years later and was arrested in Vietnam last year.

Police announced charges on Friday against two men who they say helped Gervais flee the country.

“This has been a long standing investigation. The investigation started soon after Nathan failed to appear and it’s been a matter of gathering information on an incremental basis and coming to the point where we were yesterday in being able to lay charges in relation to this,” said Staff Sergeant Colin Chisholm from the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit. “I can say that they were associates. They were known to one another and that’s what we know.”

Sean Alexander Airey, 27, of Calgary, is charged with:

  • two counts of obstruction of justice
  • forging a passport
  • making a false statement to procure a passport
  • being an accessory after the fact to murder

Marshall Thomas Quillian, 21, of Calgary, is charged with:

  • obstruction of justice
  • forging a passport
  • making a false statement to procure a passport
  • being an accessory after the fact to murder

“Helping somebody fail to appear for a murder trial is incredibly serious so we take that incredibly seriously and therefore it did take a long time. However, It is a message to people who want to help individuals evade prosecution, that we will do what it takes to lay charges and bring those people to justice,” said Chisholm. “It’s a charge that carries the maximum penalty of life imprisonment. It’s a very serious charge.”

Dale Hird, Lukas' father, posted on the Calgary Police Service's Facebook page shortly after the news broke, expressing his gratitude for the arrests.

“Mr. Hird was extremely pleased with the news that was brought to him as a result of these charges that were laid yesterday,” Chisholm said.

Both Airey and Quillian are scheduled to appear in court on January 14.

Strasser-Hird was found stabbed and badly beaten in an alleyway in the Beltline on November 23, 2013.

He was taken to hospital, but died of his injuries.

Franz Emir Cabrera, Joch Pouk, Assmar Ryiad Shlah and Jordan Lee Liao were all charged with second-degree murder in the case.

The court found Cabrera and Shlah guilty of second-degree murder, Pouk guilty of manslaughter and Liao not guilty in the incident.

Cabrera and Shlah were sentenced to life in prison, but are eligible for parole in 15 years and 12 years respectively.

Pouk was given a seven-year sentence, but his pre-trial custody reduced that to just under two years.

Gervais was sentenced to 15 months in jail for breaching his bail conditions.

His murder trial is scheduled to begin on Monday.