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Vader to be sentenced today

The killer of an elderly St. Albert couple will learn his sentence today. Travis Vader was found guilty last year of murdering Lyle and Marie McCann during a robbery gone wrong nearly seven years ago.

The killer of an elderly St. Albert couple will learn his sentence today.

Travis Vader was found guilty last year of murdering Lyle and Marie McCann during a robbery gone wrong nearly seven years ago. The second-degree murder convictions were later downgraded to manslaughter.

Vader is seeking time served for both counts of manslaughter, as well as a sentence reduction for a number of alleged Charter violations.

On the last day of a two-week sentencing hearing, defence lawyer Nate Whitling submitted a pre-trial credit calculation that asked the court to consider more than six years in pre-trial credit for the time Vader spent both in custody and under strict release conditions.

In a written brief, the Crown grants Vader 823 days in custody, despite the fact he was being held for other charges, as well as some credit for the 505 days he spent under house arrest and electronic monitoring.

Prior to being charged with killing the McCanns, Vader was held in 24-hour lockup due to the high media attention garnered by being named a suspect in the case.

It is during this time that Vader claims Edmonton Remand Centre correction officers twice assaulted him – once breaking his wrist.

Vader’s sentence reduction application also claims he was denied the right to counsel by the RCMP and subjected to an illegal strip search upon his arrest in July 2010.

The judge rejected part of the application on Jan. 3, citing credibility issues. Vader’s testimony regarding the illegal strip search did not line up with the facts shown in a video obtained by the Crown.

The Crown is seeking a much harsher sentence than the six years proposed by the defence. Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson argued that Vader deserved life imprisonment for the killing of the second McCann, to be run concurrently with a 15-year sentence for killing the first.

On Jan. 3, Thomas reserved his decision and adjourned the hearing until Jan. 25. He will give an oral summary of his pronouncement in court today.

Special accommodations have been made to allow Bret and Ann Marie McCann, son and daughter-in-law of the victims, to virtually attend the sentencing via teleconference. The couple is currently visiting their daughter in Australia.