Parents of 2012 U of A murder victim fear Supreme Court decision could lead to shorter sentence for son’s killer

“June 15 robbery, assault and murder took place,” a day in 2012 Dianne and Mike Ilesic will never forget.

“Just a few minutes after midnight, a crew of five people from the G4S armored car company entered the Hub Mall to put some cash in the ATM machine,” said Diane.

“Within minutes, a co-worker shot all three of them in that tiny room. He shot them in the head and then proceeded to shoot the co-worker who was guarding the G4S armored vehicle.”

Their son Brian Ilesic, 35, Michelle Shegelski, 26, and Eddie Rejano, 39, were killed. Matt Schuman survived but was left with permanent brain injuries.

Travis Baumgartner was sentenced to 40 years in prison, the harshest sentence in Canada since the removal of the death penalty in 1962.

“He would be locked up for 40 years, that Mike and Dianne and their family and all of the other victims families who are also victims would not have to endure a parole hearing,” said Michael Cooper, St. Albert – Edmonton Conservative MP, during a news conference with the Ilesics.

“Now all of that is in jeopardy as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bisonette.”

The Supreme Court of Canada struck down a law passed by the former Stephen Harper Conservatives that allows a judge to increase parole ineligibility periods for offenders who commit multiple murders. Now there’s fear it could mean sentence “discounts” for other mass murderers.

“This decision of the Supreme Court benefits one group of Canadians and one group only, and that is a rogues gallery of the worst of the worst mass killers,” said Cooper.

“Our son’s killer got 40 years before parole eligibility, with this change it could mean that in 15 years we might be attending a parole hearing as 10 years has already passed,” said Mike Ilesic.

Mike said having to attend a parole hearing would mean having to see his son’s killer, something he doesn’t want to do.

“Basically we would kind of be reliving the tragedy that took place then and I would prefer, maybe if he stayed in custody for 40 years without a parole eligibility date, who knows, I probably wouldn’t have to be there at my age, ” he said.

The Ilesics said the Supreme Court decision left them feeling “deflated.”

“The Supreme Court stated that sentences in which parole is not realistic is cruel and unusual for the offender. The Supreme Court also stated life sentences without reasonable probability of parole has a devastating effect on the offenders. really? What about the effects of the victims and survivors? said Diane.

“Yes, 10 years have gone by but each year still brings sadness as we recall the case,” said Dianne.

With help from their local MP, the couple is hoping to get the attention of the federal government. Cooper said Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General can take action against the decision starting with invoking the notwithstanding clause.

“We wouldn’t have a Charter without the notwithstanding clause. It’s there, it’s a tool that should be used. It should never be used lightly but this is a case where it should be,” said Cooper.

“It’s unjust to the victims. It’s unjust to not take each individual life into account,” he added.

Cooper said the government could also introduce a new law.

“There is nothing in that decision that prevents the minister and the government from introducing a new law, indeed there’s plenty of flexibility that parliament has in this regard to pass a law that would allow for a judge to exercise his or her discretion to impose a parole ineligibility period above 25 years in the case of someone convicted of multiple murders.”

CTV News Edmonton has reached out to Minister David Lametti’s office for comment.

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