edm-svekla

Thomas Svekla leaves the courthouse in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. in May 2006. ((CBC))

The lawyer for Thomas Svekla, the convicted killer serving a life sentence for the second-degree murder of Theresa Innes, agrees the community needs to be protected from her client.

Mona Duckett made the comment during a four-week dangerous offender hearing for Svekla, 41, which wrapped up Wednesday in Edmonton.

During the hearing, Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson described Svekla as a psychopath who should stay behind bars indefinitely. He argued the convicted man's long criminal record makes him a poor candidate for rehabilitation.

When it comes to learning from his mistakes, "Mr. Svekla just doesn't get it," Finlayson said, and should therefore be declared a dangerous offender.

Duckett agreed her client probably meets the dangerous offender criteria, but argued a long-term offender designation would likely be better for Svekla and safer for the public.

That long-term designation could mean an earlier release date, but it also ensures a mandatory 10-year supervision period following release with special programs and much more intense community supervision. Duckett called that a "huge safety net."  

It will be months before Court of Queen's Bench Justice Christine Eidsvik decides whether to designate Svekla as a dangerous offender. 

Whatever her decision, Svekla must serve his life sentence for second degree murder, with no chance for parole until at least 2020.

The body of Theresa Innes was discovered in May 2006, and Thomas Svekla was convicted of second-degree murder in her death in June 2008.

Corrections

  • The body of Theresa Innes was discovered in May 2006, and Thomas Svekla was convicted of second-degree murder in her death in June 2008. An earlier version of this story incorrectly suggested she was slain in June 2008.
    Apr 09, 2010 7:50 AM MT