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Vader sentenced to life in prison

In an intense moment of relief to the family, an Alberta justice sentenced Travis Vader to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years for killing an elderly St. Albert couple.
Travis Vader was sentenced to life in prison in Edmonton court today for killing Lyle and Marie McCann in 2010.
Travis Vader was sentenced to life in prison in Edmonton court today for killing Lyle and Marie McCann in 2010.

In an intense moment of relief to the family, an Alberta justice sentenced Travis Vader to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years for killing an elderly St. Albert couple.

After nearly seven years of seeking justice for his parents, Bret McCann told media – over the television screen set up to accommodate his attendance in the courtroom from Melbourne, Australia – that today’s sentence brought a level of closure to him and his family

“This has truly been a marathon,” said McCann. “We don’t know what exactly happened on the afternoon of July 3, 2010 and probably never will. Vader would need to talk and we’re not too optimistic that will happen.”

“We are thrilled that justice has been served today,” he continued. “Vader will spend the prime years of his life in prison and the public will be protected from this criminal.”

Audible sighs of relief and quiet cheers could be heard as Justice Denny Thomas read a summary of his pronouncement in an Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench courtroom Wednesday.

Vader was convicted of manslaughter in September 2016 for killing Lyle and Marie McCann six years ago during a robbery gone wrong.

The couple was last seen filling their motorhome with gas in St. Albert on July 3, 2010, before setting off on a road trip to Abbotsford, B.C. to visit their daughter. Their burned out motorhome was found near Edson two days later. Their bodies have never been located.

After a two week sentencing hearing that began Dec. 12, 2016, Thomas reserved his decision and adjourned until Jan. 25. 

He dismissed the Charter violation application and sentenced Vader to one term of life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.

Before Thomas handed down his sentence, Vader was awarded the opportunity to address the court. He said he would continue to maintain his innocence.

“With all due respect to this court, this court has convicted an innocent man and I will continue to fight until I clear my name,” said Vader.

Later, his lawyer Brian Beresh told media his client would be appealing the court’s conviction. The defence plans to file a notice of appeal before the end of the week.
McCann told the media he would continue to attend parole board hearings with the same question he asked during his victim impact statement: “Travis Vader where are the bodies of my parents?”