Conviction appealed for man who killed Calgary teen with pickax

CALGARY — A lawyer argues the murder conviction of a pickaxe-wielding Calgary man should be overturned and a new trial held.

CALGARY — A lawyer argues the murder conviction of a pickaxe-wielding Calgary man should be overturned and a new trial held.

Defence counsel Noel O’Brien told an Alberta Court of Appeal panel there were errors made in Marko Miljevic’s case.

O’Brien says Justice Earl Wilson failed to provide jurors with a definition of manslaughter, which he says was key to his client’s conviction.

Miljevic, then 20, was convicted in December 2008 of second-degree murder for killing Matt McKay, 17, with a pickaxe at a Calgary house party.

Crown prosecutor Goran Tomljanovic said Miljevic clearly committed the unlawful act of assault with a weapon, so if the killing of McKay wasn’t intentional it amounted to manslaughter.

Therefore, other forms of manslaughter, such as killings committed through negligence, didn’t need to be raised for jurors.

“That’s the pickaxe, it’s 26 inches long from tip to tip,” Tomljanovic said, pointing to the weapon Miljevic used to kill McKay.

“It weighs nine pounds, that’s the object he threw, or swung into the head of the victim. There’s no air of reality that this was a negligent act as opposed to a deliberate act.”

The appeal judges reserved their decision.