Alberta’s Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on whether an Innisfail man convicted of killing a woman with a bomb will get a new trial.
Brian Malley, 59, had his appeal heard by a three-judge panel in Calgary on Tuesday. As is usual, the panel gave no indication of when they would release their decision.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Malley, who has remained in custody, was represented by Edmonton lawyer Nathan Whitling at Tuesday’s hearing. Whitling works with Aloneissi at Liberty Law.