CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Calgary police have charged two men with helping an accused murderer flee to Vietnam before he could stand trial.
In 2013, 18-year-old Lukas Strasser-Hird was swarmed by a large group of men outside a Beltline-area nightclub, and beaten and stabbed to death.
Nathan Gervais was charged with first-degree murder in the case, but he failed to appear for his trial in April 2016.
Gervais was arrested in 2018 in Vietnam and will be standing trial this month.
Now, 27-year-old Sean Airey and 21-year-old Marshall Quillian, both of Calgary, are facing charges for helping him escape after they were arrested in the city Thursday morning.
They both face charges of obstruction of justice, forging a passport, making a false statement to procure a passport, and being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Police say the two men are associates of Gervais, and it has been an intensive investigation.
Police say it has been a long investigation. The two men were arrested yesterday in Calgary pic.twitter.com/kliCxWq8Mc
— Tom Ross (@Tommy_Slick) January 11, 2019
“It’s been a matter of gathering information in an incremental basis,” said S/Sgt. Colin Chisolm. “Our detectives worked incredibly diligently for almost 32 months to get to the point where we were able to lay these charges.”
Chisolm added that these charges may act as a deterrent.
“It is a message to people who want to help individuals evade prosecution that we will do what it takes to lay charges and bring those people to justice.”
The charge of accessory after the fact is particularly serious, as it carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Chisolm also said the passport forging operation took “some sophistication” but would not elaborate further.
This also comes as a relief to the victim’s family.
“Mr. Hird was extremely pleased with the news that was brought to him as a result of these charges,” said Chisolm.
The men will be in court on January 14th.
After many months of hard work by our homicide detectives, two men have now been charged with multiple offences for allegedly helping a murder suspect leave the country in 2016. https://t.co/U2zC11FYTs#yyc #yyccrime
— Calgary Police (@CalgaryPolice) January 11, 2019
The original trial went ahead for four other men accused in Strasser-Hird’s death.
Franz Cabrera and Assmar Shlah were both convicted of second-degree murder and Joch Pouk was convicted of manslaughter.
The fourth man, Jordan Liao, was acquitted.