Brian Malley

Innisfail bomber’s appeal dismissed

Brian Malley was appealing first-degree murder conviction for death of Innisfail woman in 2011

Alberta’s Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal application by an Alberta financial adviser convicted of planting a bomb that killed a young Innisfail woman.

The decision was released on Wednesday afternoon.

Brian Malley, 59, had his appeal heard last September by a three-judge panel in Calgary.

Malley was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder in Red Deer provincial court on Feb. 14, 2014. He was automatically sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Related stories: Malley convicted

Malley appeals

Victoria Shachtay, 23, was killed on Nov. 25, 2011 opening a gift left on her Innisfail doorstep. The paraplegic single mother opened the disguised bomb, it went off and killed her instantly.

A 2004 car collision left Shachtay confined to a wheelchair. In 2007, she received a large settlement from the crash and invested $575,000 of the money and a $264,000 loan at Malley’s recommendation through the company Assante Wealth Management.

By the spring of 2011, the money had run out. To hide the losses, between April and November 2011, Malley made tens of thousands of dollars in payments to Shachtay from his own debit and credit card accounts, even going into overdraft.

Malley was arrested on May 27, 2012, following a six-month investigation by the Innisfail RCMP, an RCMP post-blast national response team, explosive disposal and technology section, tech crimes, special tactical operations, criminal analysis section, special surveillance units and forensic labs.

The conviction by a jury came after a five-week trial that saw Crown prosecutors painstakingly pursue a case built almost entirely on circumstantial evidence.

At the time, the Crown prosecutor said DNA evidence, the tracking down of pipe bomb components in Malley’s possession and the uncovering of a troubled financial history between him and his client were important components of the case.

The Crown argued that Malley killed Shachtay because she was a difficult client who was becoming a financial drain.

She was murdered to “cut his losses” and was particularly cold blooded, said the Crown prosecutor.

Malley’s counsel maintained throughout the trial that investigators had tunnel vision and focused in on Malley without considering other alternatives.

After the conviction, defence counsel Bob Aloneissi, of Edmonton, said his client was wrongfully convicted and compared it to the convictions of Guy Paul Morin and David Milgaard. Milgaard was acquitted after serving 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit while Morin was exonerated by DNA evidence.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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