A key piece of evidence that led to a financial advisor’s arrest in an Innisfail bomb-murder plot was obtained by police by sifting through garbage at a Wendy’s, court heard today.
Calgary Police Service Sgt. Sean McCully was a part of a team of officers who conducted a five-month intermittent surveillance of Brian Malley.
Malley, 57, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Shachtay, a quadriplegic single mother from Innisfail. He is on trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.
Shachtay, 23, was killed when a bomb disguised as a Christmas present exploded as she opened it on Nov. 25, 2011.
Malley was Shachtay’s financial advisor. Court was told in previous testimony that she had invested $575,000 with Malley from a 2007 injury settlement. She became paralyzed in a 2004 car crash. By 2011, the money was gone and the Crown believes Malley gave Shachtay $44,000 of his own money from debit, credit and overdrafting his accounts.
Malley was under covert police surveillance for eight to 10 days from January to May 2012. He was arrested on May 25, 2012.
As part of that surveillance, McCully followed Malley and his wife to dinner one night at a Wendy’s restaurant. He observed the couple have a meal, sharing a beverage but using separate napkins.
McCully entered the Wendy’s, carefully observing the Malleys. He testified that Malley would wipe his face with a napkin, neatly fold it up and then put it inside the french fry box. Malley’s wife would use a napkin, ball it up and place it on the plastic tray.
McCully said he saw Malley put their garbage into a waste receptacle. When the couple left the restaurant, McCully retrieved the napkins that Malley used from the garbage, found in the french fry box. These napkins were later used for DNA analysis, and the DNA was compared to items found in the bomb debris.
Malley’s counsel Bob Aloneissi asked McCully for more details about the multi-day surveillance of his client. McCully agreed that it was very mundane and police observed nothing of suspicion while following Malley.
Testimony before the jury in the Court of Queen’s Bench continues today.