Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Testimony Wraps Up in Calgary Triple-Murder Case; Jury to Deliberate Next Week

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Testimony Wraps Up in Calgary Triple-Murder Case; Jury to Deliberate Next Week

Article excerpt

Testimony wraps up in triple-murder trial

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CALGARY - A judge offered sympathy and advice Thursday to jurors who have sat through a month of disturbing evidence about the gruesome deaths of a couple and their grandson.

Justice David Gates addressed the jury after testimony for the Crown wrapped up and lawyers for Douglas Garland elected to call no witnesses.

Garland, 57, is being tried on three charges of first-degree murder in the disappearance of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O'Brien.

Gates told jurors he understood they have endured "great, personal distress" in the last four weeks.

"Symptoms of stress may appear as any number of physical and psychological reactions, including increased anxiety and frustration, disruption to sleep and eating routines, depression, withdrawal, anger and even hostility," the judge said.

"They are part of the natural healing process of adjusting to a powerful event, making sense out of what happened and putting it into perspective."

Gates urged jurors to stay away from drugs and alcohol, to eat and sleep well before they are sequestered next week and to "pursue those activities that bring you joy."

Closing arguments are to be presented Monday and Gates plans to charge the jury on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, The jury was shown video from a late-night game of cat and mouse which led to Garland's arrest. The video, taken from a police helicopter, was recorded early in the morning on July 14, 2014, and documented how Garland was taken into custody at his farm north of Calgary.

Court heard the helicopter used an infrared camera and a strong searchlight to track Garland, who had snuck back onto his property.

He had been arrested earlier that month on an unrelated charge and then released. He was under surveillance and his truck had already been seized.

The video showed Garland's attempts to evade police by hiding in trees and crawling on his stomach through deep grass. …

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