JURIS GRANEY Trial opens for man ac­cused of stab­bing his son-in-law

Edmonton Journal - - CITY+ REGION -

Roberto Robles was sit­ting hand­cuffed in the back of an Ed­mon­ton po­lice squad car for 15 min­utes when he sud­denly broke his si­lence.

“I’m sorry very much. I’m sorry,” the 75 year-old said in bro­ken English to Const. Josianne Sa­gar, the Ed­mon­ton po­lice of­fi­cer who had ar­rested him.

Ear­lier, as he handed an air pis­tol and a knife to Sa­gar, with the body of Robles’ son-in-law ly­ing con­torted in a pool of blood near the rear door of a River­bend home, he told Sa­gar: “I shot him in the head.”

But it wasn’t the four pel­lets found in Ar­mando (Mandy) Aspillaga that killed him.

Aspillaga had also been stabbed five times. Two of those were con­sid­ered lethal and fa­tal.

Sa­gar was one of two Crown wit­nesses to tes­tify Wed­nes­day in Court of Queen’s Bench in the sec­ond-de­gree mur­der trial of Robles.

Robles ear­lier pleaded not guilty to the June 17, 2016, killing.

Dur­ing his open­ing ad­dress, Crown prose­cu­tor Mark Huy­serWierenga con­tended Robles hated Aspillaga and that dur­ing a po­lice in­ter­view the day af­ter he was ar­rested, he told in­ves­ti­ga­tors he con­sid­ered him a “piece of junk,” a “dog” and “lower than a rat.”

That ev­i­dence — a two-hour po­lice in­ter­view — was ex­pected to be played in court Thurs­day.

Dur­ing the open­ing day of what is ex­pected to be a 10-day trial, jurors heard that Aspillaga and met his fu­ture wife Flavia Robles at a wed­ding in 2009 in Ha­vana. They mar­ried a year later.

In Au­gust 2011, the pair moved to Ed­mon­ton, liv­ing in a home in the For­est Heights neigh­bour­hood.

Soon af­ter, now ex­pect­ing a child, the pair moved into a home near White­mud Road and 53 Av­enue. But the mar­riage dis­in­te­grated. Jurors heard that by the fall of 2015, the pair were still liv­ing in their home, but sleep­ing in sep­a­rate bed­rooms.

On the day of his death, Aspillaga left early for work at PCL in the Nisku area. Robles and his wife, Pi­lar, came to the home to look af­ter their grand­daugh­ter. Ar­riv­ing home af­ter work that Fri­day, Aspillaga en­tered the home through a rear door and was “am­bushed” and “at­tacked un­ex­pect­edly and sud­denly,” Huyser-Wierenga told jurors.

Huyser-Wierenga told jurors Aspillaga was first hit by a “dis­ori­en­tat­ing ” vol­ley of shots fired from an air pis­tol, be­fore be­ing stabbed five times on the left side of his body. He also suf­fered seven or eight slash­ing wounds.

Aspillaga suf­fered a sev­ered jugu­lar and a 20-cm deep stab wound to the chest that pen­e­trated his ribs and per­fo­rated his lung.

Sa­gar told court Robles ap­peared “some­what dis­tressed” when he an­swered the door, but led them with­out hes­i­ta­tion to the body. Pi­lar Roble’s 911 call to po­lice was played for the court

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