Alberta's high court won't change life sentence of man who killed seniors

EDMONTON — The Alberta Court of Appeal has dismissed a sentence appeal of a man convicted of killing two Edmonton-area seniors.

Travis Vader was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann, who vanished in 2010 after setting out on a camping trip.

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The couple's burned-out motorhome and a vehicle they had been towing were discovered shortly after they disappeared, but their bodies have never been found.

Vader received a life sentence with no chance at parole for seven years, a sentence the Appeal Court ruled is not unreasonable.

The court previously turned down Vader's request for a new trial and for his charges to be stayed.

The Supreme Court of Canada last week refused to hear his appeal of that decision.

Vader's trial in 2016 heard he was a desperate drug addict who came across the McCanns and killed them during a robbery.

The Appeal Court said in its decision Thursday that a maximum life sentence is justified when an offender is dangerous and likely to offend again in a serious way.

"The sentencing judge found the appellant was dangerous and a threat to anyone who might cross his path. Until his offence pattern is broken, the public is not safe," said the decision.

"This conclusion, when combined with the egregious circumstances of the offences perpetrated on the two victims, supports the imposition of a life sentence."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2019.

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