Jury convicts one man of murder, another of manslaughter in killing of Calgary chef

One of the two men on trial in the death of a Calgary chef has been found guilty of murder while the other has been convicted of the lesser offence of manslaughter, a jury has ruled. 

Anthony Dodgson and Tommie Holloway were on trial for 2nd-degree murder

Calgary chef Christophe Herblin was killed by three people who police believe were trying to break into a cannabis shop through Herblin's deli. (Herblin family)

A Calgary jury has convicted two men in the death of a local chef who was killed during a botched robbery.

After hearing more than five weeks of evidence, jurors spent two full days deliberating over the weekend. 

Anthony Dodgson and Tommy Holloway were on trial for second-degree murder in the March 2020 fatal attack on Christophe Herblin.

Dodgson has been found guilty of second-degree murder while Holloway was found guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter. 

A date for a sentencing hearing will be set later this month. 

Cannabis store had history of break-ins

Longtime executive chef at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club, Herblin was weeks from opening Croque Saveurs, a French bistro on Bow Trail.

The bistro shared a wall with Spiritleaf, a cannabis store with a history of break-ins.

The night of the killing, Herblin responded to a business alarm around 3 a.m.

Hours later, after police had secured the site and left, Herblin was cleaning up glass when the thieves returned. 

Those thieves were Dodgson, Holloway and a woman identified throughout the trial as AB.

AB was the Crown's key witness, testifying against her former friends. 

Dodgson admitted to stabbing Herblin outside the bistro after he and Holloway smashed the windows of the victim's car. 

But Dodgson's lawyer argued there was no plan and no intent to murder the chef. Tonii Roulston argued her client should be convicted of the lesser offence of manslaughter.

Holloway's lawyer Kim Ross asked the jury for an outright acquittal, arguing there was no evidence his client had any part in the attack on Herblin.

Crown witness called a 'liar'

The Crown's case for murder largely relied on AB's testimony that the two men made a plan to steal keys from Herblin and would stab him if he resisted. 

But Herblin only had keys to his own shop which wouldn't have been helpful in getting into the pot shop.

Both lawyers argued AB is not credible or reliable. Ross called AB a self-interested "liar."

AB has a serious criminal history including being implicated in another murder. 

She was on drugs including meth, cocaine and alcohol on the night of Herblin's killing.

Roulston and Ross argued AB was inconsistent in her evidence, suffered memory loss from drug use and had motive to lie.

Parole recommendations made by jury

Manslaughter has a wide range of sentencing options with no minimum and a maximum of life in prison.

A second-degree murder conviction comes with a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 to 25 years.

Jurors were given the chance to recommend a parole ineligibility period. Six chose not to make a recommendation while six chose the minimum 10-year period. 

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Blair Nixon thanked jurors for their service before they were dismissed. 

A Gladue report — an examination into an Indigenous offender's upbringing —was ordered ahead of the sentencing for both men. 

Herblin left behind a wife and daughter. It is likely his family will author victim impact statements which would be part of the sentencing hearing.