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McCann ready to fight again if Vader gets new trial

Bret McCann says he's ready to fight again after a date was set for Travis Vader’s appeal hearing. Vader has been given a November date for his appeal of his manslaughter convictions in the death of McCann’s parents, Lyle and Marie.
Travis Vader was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Lyle and Marie McCann. Vader has appealed the convictions and an appeal date has been set for November.

Bret McCann says he's ready to fight again after a date was set for Travis Vader’s appeal hearing.

Vader has been given a November date for his appeal of his manslaughter convictions in the death of McCann’s parents, Lyle and Marie.

McCann doesn’t believe that Vader will be granted a new trial, although if he does get one, McCann will fly from Australia where he now lives to attend the new trial.

“I don’t think that he has any chance of getting a new trial, so we are not worried about it or anything like that. We are quite confident that it will be rejected.”

Rather than feel unsettled when he heard that Vader was appealing his verdict, McCann said he just accepts that the appeal is “an inevitable part of the process.

“We were not surprised or disappointed or anything by this,” McCann said.

McCann hopes that Vader will “ultimately accept full responsibility for his horrific deed,” and McCann is confident Vader will serve life in prison.

In a statement, McCann said it is clear Vader murdered one of his parents in front of the other and then went on to murder the other.

“Despite a mountain of clear and irrefutable evidence, Vader has not acknowledged his guilt nor disclosed the location of my parents’ remains. Without a proper funeral and memorial, our family is unable to fully grieve and reach a measure of closure,” the statement read.

Vader is currently serving a life sentence in the deaths of the senior couple and is slated to come before the Court of Appeal of Alberta on Nov. 28.

In January 2017, Vader’s defence lawyer, Brian Beresh, filed the documents for an appeal, stating that Vader is looking for a stay of proceedings on the sentence or an acquittal. If the matter was to go to trial again, Vader would request his case be heard by a judge and jury.

So far, the Court of Appeal has made no decision on whether or not Vader will be granted a stay or new trial, and his appearance in November will be the first step in that process.

“It has been quite a marathon. This all happened in 2010,” McCann said.

Vader was originally convicted of second-degree murder by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Denny Thomas in the deaths of the McCann couple. Thomas relied on a section of the Criminal Code, which had been deemed unconstitutional by the courts 26 years earlier. The verdict was eventually substituted for two counts of manslaughter.

Vader was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.

The McCanns were last seen filling their motorhome with gas in St. Albert on July 3, 2010, before setting off on a planned trip to visit with family and camp on the West Coast. Their burned-out motorhome was found near Minnow Lake campground, southeast of Edson, two days later.


Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Media based in St. Albert, Alta.
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