Killer Crowchild seeks bail pend­ing third mur­der trial

Woman would have been el­i­gi­ble for day pa­role had she not ap­pealed, de­fence says

Calgary Herald - - CITY - KEVIN MARTIN KMartin@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/KMart­inCourts

By the time con­fessed killer Crys­tal Crowchild stands trial for mur­der a third time she will have sur­passed the pa­role el­i­gi­bil­ity im­posed on her se­cond con­vic­tion, her lawyer said Fri­day.

In seek­ing her re­lease on bail, de­fence coun­sel Jim Lutz noted if Crowchild had not suc­cess­fully ap­pealed her con­vic­tion ear­lier this year she would be qual­i­fied to re­turn to the street next April.

“By the time we get to trial she will have sur­passed her el­i­gi­bil­ity for day pa­role,” Lutz told Court of Queen’s Bench Jus­tice Beth Hughes.

The lawyer said Crowchild is a changed per­son from the vi­o­lent drug ad­dict who stabbed to death a Cal­gary man in March 2010.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Rose Green­wood ar­gued for Crowchild’s con­tin­ued de­ten­tion, not­ing her crim­i­nal past in­cluded a rob­bery the day be­fore she fa­tally stabbed Aref Nassered­dine and a prior ag­gra­vated as­sault.

“That is not the same per­son you have be­fore you to­day,” Lutz said, of Crowchild’s his­tory.

In April, the Al­berta Court of Ap­peal or­dered Crowchild, 32, to stand trial a third time for sec­ond­de­gree mur­der in Nassered­dine’s death.

Ap­peal pros­e­cu­tor Julie Mor­gan con­ceded Jus­tice Ged Hawco erred in his in­struc­tions to ju­rors dur­ing Crowchild’s Fe­bru­ary 2016, re-trial.

Nassered­dine, 64, was stabbed by Crowchild in his south­west Cal­gary home.

Crowchild, who was 25 at the time, had met Nassered­dine that morn­ing in the East Vil­lage and agreed to go to his home for sex for $60.

Dur­ing her se­cond trial, she told court she had never be­fore en­gaged in pros­ti­tu­tion but needed to feed her crack habit.

Af­ter they had sex in his bed he asked her for oral sex as well, she tes­ti­fied. Crowchild, who was only given $40, re­fused and be­gan to leave the res­i­dence.

As she got to the back door, Nassered­dine, still naked from the waist down, grabbed her, and she grabbed a knife from the sink nearby and stabbed him four times, in­clud­ing once in the heart.

Crowchild wasn’t ar­rested un­til April 2011.

She was later given a life sen­tence by Hawco with­out el­i­gi­bil­ity for full pa­role un­til she’d served 10 years.

Un­der the Crim­i­nal Code a con­victed mur­derer can seek day pa­role three years be­fore full el­i­gi­bil­ity.

Green­wood said de­spite the two suc­cess­ful ap­peals, Crowchild is aware two ju­ries have found her guilty of mur­der, mak­ing her a risk to flee if granted bail.

She also said her past al­co­hol and drug abuse makes her a strong can­di­date to re­turn to her vi­o­lent life­style if al­lowed back into the com­mu­nity.

“Ms. Crowchild has a re­mark­ably vi­o­lent past,” Green­wood told Hughes. “The safety of the pub­lic war­rants her de­ten­tion.

“Her out­let (while un­der the in­flu­ence) ap­pears to be to lash out vi­o­lently.”

Lutz said de­spite the first two ver­dicts, his client has a good ar­gu­ment for self-de­fence, or a con­vic­tion on a re­duced charge of man­slaugh­ter.

“This is a case where Ms. Crowchild found her­self un­pro­tected and de­fence­less,” he said.

Crowchild’s third trial is sched­uled to be­gin Oct 1, 2018, al­though Hughes wants to find an ear­lier date.

The case is back in court Sept. 25 for Lutz to up­date Hughes on his client’s progress in jail.

Crys­tal Crowchild

Aref Nassered­dine

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