Malley denied bail pending his appeal

The Innisfail man convicted of first-degree murder in the bombing death of a quadriplegic single mother will have to wait in jail while his appeal is heard by the courts.

The Innisfail man convicted of first-degree murder in the bombing death of a quadriplegic single mother will have to wait in jail while his appeal is heard by the courts.

Brian Andrew Malley, 58, was denied bail pending his appeal on Monday by the Alberta Court of Appeal.

He was convicted of first-degree murder on Feb. 24 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Victoria Shachtay, 23, was killed on Nov. 25, 2011, when she opened a package left on her doorstep. The package looked like an early Christmas present, but disguised a bomb that detonated when she opened it, killing her.

Malley’s appeal is due back in the Calgary Court of Appeal on Sept. 15. It was launch on March 6. In the interim, he had sought to be released on bail.

Several reasons for denying bail were given, including the graveness of the offence. The court said that short of treason in wartime or multiple killings, it could not be much worse.

Another reason given was the weak grounds for appeal.

“The appeal is not entirely frivolous, though some parts of it argued before me are, so far as I can tell,” reads the decision from Justice Jean Cote. At another point, the decision calls the Crown’s case strong.

Cote adds that the danger of Malley jumping bail or misconducting himself while on bail are moderate but not strong. Cote cited an instance during the trial where testimony indicated Malley had asked a friend to plant evidence for him while he was held at the Red Deer Remand Centre.

Among the reasons cited to Cote by defence counsel Bob Aloneissi for the appeal are a poor police investigation and that some members of the jury may have been biased against Malley’s wife.

Aloneissi is raising an issue about Malley’s wife’s misconduct at the trial, saying it may have biased one or more jurors against Malley. The decision said Aloneissi implies jurors should have been removed or potentially even a mistrial declared, despite during the trial defence counsel not arguing that during the trial.

The trial judge, Justice Kirk Sisson, held an in camera court session after the misconduct, inquiring into its nature.

Shachtay was paralyzed in 2004 in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the neck down. From 2007 to 2011, Shachtay had an investment account that Malley managed.

By April 2011, the money was gone. Much of it was lost in 2008 when the shares of the largest portion of the investment (92 per cent) were cut in half due to market pressures.

From 2007 to Oct. 15, 2011, Malley made payments to Shachtay totalling $44,000 from his personal accounts. The Crown maintains Malley killed Shachtay to cut his losses.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com