Nicholas Rasberry, the Calgary man who was found guilty last year of manslaughter for stabbing his neighbour to death, has been granted bail pending his appeal.
Rasberry was sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing and slashing Craig Kelloway 37 times in May 2013. He claimed it was in self-defence from a sexual assault.
At the Alberta Court of Appeal, Justice Frans Slatter heard arguments from Rasberry's lawyer who asked his client be released, and the Crown who opposed it.
"If the court cannot understand what led Mr. Rasberry to this level of violence then the court can not craft conditions to control him," said Crown lawyer Jolaine Antonio in her arguments.
Rasberry's lawyer Hersh Wolch called him "a young man with an impeccable background, an impeccable lifestyle."
"We feel we have very strong grounds and will be successful," said Wolsh of his appeal.
Rasberry was originally charged with second-degree murder, but the judge found he didn't have the intent to commit murder. Justice Robert Hall rejected a self-defence theory, which would have led to an acquittal.
Kelloway was stabbed and slashed 37 times with three knives. Rasberry broke all three in his attack.
The two met only hours before paramedics would find Kelloway dying on Rasberry's floor. The night had started out innocently, as the neighbours just lived just two doors apart in the southeast community of Auburn Bay.
Rasberry and his wife met Kelloway and his girlfriend in their backyard and began drinking and barbecuing together on May 4, 2013. The festivities later took them from Kelloway's home to the Rasberrys.
Shortly after the women went to bed, Rasberry killed Kelloway.
Cross appeals filed
One day before he was sentenced for manslaughter, Rasberry was arrested for breaching his bail conditions when he was caught at a check-stop driving his parents home from a Christmas party and admitted to police had been drinking.
Both the Crown and defence have filed appeals — the prosecution wants Rasberry re-tried for murder while his lawyer wants an acquittal or at least a lesser sentence.
Both appeals will be heard together. A date for that hearing has not yet been set but is expected to be held sometime in 2016.
There will be conditions attached to Rasberry's release but those still have to be worked out between Antonio and Wolch.