2nd-degree murder charge laid in Beltline attack

One of the people arrested for a vicious beating in the Beltline has been charged with second-degree murder. The original charge of attempted murder was upgraded after the victim died.

Police upgrade attempted murder charge after victim dies

Son David Herrera speaks on behalf of the family of beating victim John Herrera-Garcia. 2:52

Calgary police have charged one of three people arrested for a vicious beating in the Beltline with second-degree murder.

Garrett Elliott Lee Smith was previously charged with attempted murder for the severe beating of John Herrera-Garcia on May 23.

The 49-year-old man died from his injuries on Wednesday. Police say Smith, who had been released on bail, was arrested at his home last night.

The other two people are still in custody on the attempted murder charges, but the Crown is now recommending those charges also be upgraded to second-degree murder.

Herrera-Garcia was attacked while he was walking home with his groceries.

Police say the beating was unprovoked.

Family Speaks

John Herrera-Garcia was attacked on this street in May. (CBC)

The victim’s family spoke to media Thursday afternoon.

David Herrera, 21, described his father as loving and supportive. 

"He always knew my needs. He always knew what to tell me. He always understood," he said.

The family says it holds no anger or hatred towards the accused but the last four months have been very difficult.

A trust fund will be set up in Herrera-Garcia’s memory under his wife’s name, Gloria, at Scotia Bank to help pay for costs.

The family is from Colombia.

The funeral will be held Friday at 3 p.m. at Our Lady Of Guadalupe church, located at 2519 Edmonton Trail northeast.