Guilty ver­dict in Calgary triple mur­der case

Con­sec­u­tive sen­tences rec­om­mended

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

A man ac­cused of killing a Calgary cou­ple and their grand­son has been found guilty on three counts of first-de­gree mur­der.

Dou­glas Gar­land, who is 57, was charged in the deaths of Alvin and Kathy Lik­nes and five-year-old Nathan O’Brien in June 2014.

The vic­tims’ fam­ily wept openly as the ver­dict was read. There was no re­ac­tion from Gar­land.

Ju­rors de­lib­er­ated be­tween eight and nine hours be­fore reach­ing a de­ci­sion. They also rec­om­mended to the judge that Gar­land serve three con­sec­u­tive sen­tences, mean­ing he would not be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role for 75 years.

Jus­tice David Gates had ad­vised them to use com­mon sense and to be sure of Gar­land’s guilt be­yond a rea­son­able doubt if they wished to con­vict him.

The cou­ple and the boy dis­ap­peared after an es­tate sale at the Lik­nes home, where Nathan had stayed on a sleep­over.

The Crown ar­gued dur­ing the trial that Gar­land stewed for years about a dis­pute with Alvin Lik­nes over a patent for an oil­field pump they had both worked on.

The Crown ar­gued there was enough ev­i­dence to show Gar­land at­tacked the three in the home be­fore tak­ing them to his Calgary-area farm where he killed them, but the de­fence said there was no DNA ev­i­dence to prove he was ever in the house.

The vic­tims’ bod­ies were never re­cov­ered _ only bone frag­ments, burned flesh and teeth in the ash from a burn­ing bar­rel on Gar­land’s prop­erty. There was also am­ple DNA ev­i­dence re­cov­ered at the farm.

The ju­rors heard from 50 wit­nesses in the trial that be­gan nearly five weeks ago and in­cluded 1,400 pieces of ev­i­dence.

Gates spent four hours giv­ing in­struc­tions to the nine men and three women and told them they could use as much or as lit­tle of the ev­i­dence as they wanted, but not to re­sort to spec­u­la­tion.

CP PHOTO

Dou­glas Gar­land is es­corted into a Calgary po­lice sta­tion on Mon­day, July 14, 2014. Gar­land, ac­cused of killing a Calgary cou­ple and their grand­son, has been found guilty on three counts of first-de­gree mur­der.

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