Killer Crowchild seeks bail pending third murder trial
Woman would have been eligible for day parole had she not appealed, defence says
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.