Canada Allan Shyback convicted of manslaughter in strangling spouse, entombing her body

11:25  19 may  2017
11:25  19 may  2017 Source:   Calgary Herald

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041817-1206perpwalk4.jpg-35511622-1206perpwalk4-W.jpg: Allan Shyback, during his arrest on Dec. 6, 2014.<br /> © Leah Hennel Allan Shyback, during his arrest on Dec. 6, 2014.

A Calgary man who strangled his wife and entombed her mummified body in his basement wall was found guilty Thursday of manslaughter.

Allan Shyback may not have intended to choke his wife to death at their Ogden home in 2012, a judge ruled, rejecting a verdict of second-degree murder.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Rosemary Nation said the possible quickness of the act left doubt that Shyback, 40, intended to kill Lisa Mitchell, 31, on Oct. 29, 2012.

“The context of how the altercation between the accused and the victim started, the difficulty in establishing the timing and the forensic evidence in relation to the fracture, I am left with a reasonable doubt as to the intention of the accused,” Nation said in her summary.

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During the trial, Shyback testified he’d had a stormy relationship with Mitchell for a decade and that he had endured considerable physical abuse.

He told court that during an especially heated fight, Mitchell threatened him with a knife, forcing him to defend himself.

Shyback insisted he’d accidentally strangled his common-law wife in the kitchen of their home and panicked over how to dispose of her body, thinking that no one would believe his story.

He described how he stuffed the woman’s body into a plastic bin and cemented it into a wall of his basement.

Shyback was convicted of interfering with Mitchell’s body.

She said his claims of self-defence rang hollow, particularly after Mitchell was prone on the couple’s kitchen floor during the struggle and by Shyback’s own words that he wanted to stop choking her.

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Allan Shyback (L) has been convicted of manslaughter in wife Lisa Mitchell's death. Shyback insisted he'd accidentally strangled his common-law wife in the kitchen of their Ogden home and panicked over how to dispose of her body under the belief no one would believe his story.

“He was aware that the danger from the weapon was gone,” said Nation.

Crown prosecutor Jayme Williams told court the episode was really a murderous scheme, with Shyback covering his trail by faking phone messages, emails and texts, some of them cobbled together from Mitchell’s old voice recordings.

Nation said those actions cast a harsh light on Shyback’s defence and suggested they went beyond simple panic.

“I have difficulty in accepting that he — after reflection, in the hours of Lisa Mitchell’s death when he was lying beside her body, going to buy cigarettes and starting the clean-up of the body —  would reject calling police,” she said.

The Crown had argued there was no reliable evidence Shyback had been physically mistreated by Mitchell, 31.

Shyback, 40, was arrested in 2014 after Mitchell’s mummified body was found and charged with murder and committing an indignity to a body.

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5, 2014, with the accused confessing to have killed Lisa Mitchell by strangling her to death,'' prosecutor Heather Morris said in her opening statement. Allan Shyback is charged with second-degree murder and causing an indignity to a body .

A Calgary man, accused of strangling his common-law wife and entombing her body in a plastic container in cement in their basement, should be acquitted or at least found guilty of a lesser charge, argued his defence lawyer Thursday morning. Allan Shyback , 40, is charged with

In the months following Mitchell’s disappearance, police mounted a “Mr. Big” sting operation in which the accused admitted to undercover officers he’d killed the woman in self-defence with his own hands.

“I can remember trying to make myself to let go,” Shyback is heard telling an officer in a recording played in court.

Williams pointed to Shyback telling an undercover cop that he’d have to put “a good spin” on the incident to avoid a murder conviction.

The manslaughter conviction, rather than a second-degree murder verdict, was a disappointment but not unexpected, said Mitchell’s mother, Peggy.

“That was the best we could hope for, really,” she said.

Shyback’s disposal of her daughter’s body and the lies he told their two children about her absence are the worst elements of the case, said Mitchell.

“It’s unbelievable what he did, it’s what hurts the most — how he could treat someone like that,” she said.

Both Shyback and his victim suffered abuse at each other’s hands, added Mitchell.

Sentencing hearings are scheduled for Sept. 20.

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

Twitter/BillKaufmannjrn

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