Triple murderer to hear impact from victims families at court hearing

Triple murderer faces victims families

CALGARY — Triple murderer Douglas Garland will learn today if he will spend the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced in a Calgary courtroom.

A jury convicted Garland, 57, of three counts of first-degree murder for the 2014 deaths of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson Nathan O’Brien.

Garland assaulted the trio in a Calgary home on June 30, 2014, transported them to his family farm north of the city, murdered and dismembered them and then burned their bodies to ash.

Justice David Gates will determine whether to impose a sentence on Garland that would prevent his seeking parole for 75 years.

It would be one of the stiffest sentences imposed since Canada had the death penalty.

“Mr. Garland will spend his life in jail. Now the question is what will the parole board do and when can he fill out his application to get before a parole board,” said Crown prosecutor Shane Parker.

“That’s really what it’s down to.”

Parker said Gates has a number of options available including no eligibility for parole for 25, 50 or 75 years.

Garland’s lawyers haven’t determined what they will argue before the court.

A number of victim impact statements will be read into the record. Five members of the Liknes and O’Brien families are scheduled to have their say.

“They’ve lost Kathy, they’ve lost Alvin and they’ve lost Nathan,” said Parker. “At the end of the day they still have to be able to deal with the loss of three critical people in their family. Grandparents, brothers, sisters, a nephew, so this decision doesn’t change that. They still have to grieve.

“Who knows what Nathan would have grown up to be? But we do know Alvin was a great contributing member to society, Kathy was a grandmother. You could tell Kathy, Alvin and Nathan were well loved, well supported in the community because that courtroom was full every day.”

Garland will have the opportunity to address the court before his sentencing.

His lawyer said this has been a tough case for everyone involved.

“You can certainly appreciate how both sides of the family are thinking about this,” said Jim Lutz.

“There’s just no winners in any of this — no good way to come out of this and have a positive spin on it.”

Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter


Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Evacuation alert for Dark Lake Valley area

There are 21 properties are affected

Car in ditch in West Kelowna

A car landed in a ditch in West Kelowna

Kelowna Special Olympian bowls bocce ball for bronze

Katarina Gerhardt won bronze in singles bocce

RCMP respond to disruptive passengers at YLW

The incident is not impacting flights

Drumming group performs downtown Kelowna

Vancouver-based Chinese drumming group aims to promote unity

More smoggy air for the Okanagan

Breathing conditions are improving, though still not ideal

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

Troops heading to Lumby/Cherryville to lend a hand with wildfires

Canadian Armed Troops expected to be in the area by the end of the week

Thieves target tires and rims in Shuswap

Salmon Arm RCMP report two recent incidents, a van used in one theft was stolen in Surrey

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

25-year-old Edmonton man pronounced dead on Shuswap Lake houseboat

Sicamous RCMP deem death to be non suspicious, BC Coroners Service investigating

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Most Read