‘Four years of hell’
Kelloway parents believe justice system continues to fail their son
“It’s been four years of hell.” Monica Kelloway doesn’t mince words when it comes to how she feels about the Canadian judicial system after the brutal stabbing death of her son Craig Kelloway in Calgary in May 2013. She spent this past Thursday laying flowers at his grave, four years ago to the day that he died after being stabbed 37 times with three knives, two of which broke during the attack.
“I can’t look at a butcher knife in a store any more — if I do, I see Craig.”
On Friday, Monica and her husband Harvey Kelloway learned the Alberta Court of Appeal had dismissed two appeals in the case of Nicholas Rasberry who had been found guilty of manslaughter in Craig Kelloway’s death in 2015. He had been originally charged with seconddegree murder in Kelloway’s death and had admitted at his trial that he had stabbed Kelloway after the two men and their wives had spent time drinking at a barbecue at Rasberry’s Calgary home. Rasberry argued he was fending off an attempted sex assault when he stabbed his new neighbour 37 times.
“I am disappointed and angry,” said Monica Kelloway on Friday. “I have lost all faith in our justice system. For a man to use three knives and stab another 37 times and they don’t consider that to be murder - what do they figure murder is?
“The justice system is failing the people.”
Alberta’s top court rejected a request that Rasberry be acquitted. The defence had argued that the court erred by not fully accepting his self-defence claim.
“We are satisfied that the trial judge accepted Rasberry’s evidence to the extent necessary to ground the defence of partial provocation,’’ the three-member appeal panel wrote.
“The trial judge found the wrongful act as described by Rasberry, and the response to it, met both prongs of the test of provocation and the Crown had not proved otherwise.’’
The panel also ruled that the judge acted properly in his finding that the severity of Rasberry’s attack on Kelloway was not reasonable. The court also dismissed the Crown’s submission that Rasberry should be retried because his self-defence claim had no “air of reality.’’
Monica and Harvey Kelloway said they will study the decisions of the Alberta Appeals Court this weekend before making any further decisions on what to do next.
In his verdict from October, 2015, Justice Robert Hall said he did not view the stabbings as “mere self-defence.’’
“Rasberry stabbed Kelloway 37 times. In doing so, he broke one knife and had access to another. He broke a second knife and bent a third,’’ Hall said. “It is important that the sentence denounces the crazy, excessive force used by Rasberry in killing Kelloway. The number of stabbings and slashings with the use of three weapons is a substantial, aggravating factor in this case.’’
Rasberry remains free on bail until his appeal of his seven-year sentence is heard.
From left, Craig Kelloway and Nicholas Rasberry are shown in a candid photo from the night of Kelloway’s death in Calgary in May 2013. Rasberry was found guilty of manslaughter in the case and a second request for acquittal was denied on Friday.