Woman accused of Calgary manslaughter tearfully hugs lawyer after charge dropped mid-trial

A Lethbridge woman accused of a Calgary killing became emotional after her manslaughter charge was dropped mid-trial on Monday.

Crystal Mills was accused of attacking Trisheena Simon in February 2017

Trisheena Simon was found suffering from a head injury near a northwest Calgary bank in February of 2017. She was taken to hospital but died two days later. (Calgary Police Service)

A Lethbridge woman accused of a Calgary killing became emotional after her manslaughter charge was dropped mid-trial on Monday.

Crystal Mills, 46, cried and hugged defence lawyer Rebecca Snukal after the prosecutor stayed her manslaughter charge on what was to be Day 6 of the trial before provincial court Judge Brian Stevenson.

Mills was accused of killing Trisheena Simon, 28, who died from head injuries in February 2017, two days after she was brought to hospital. 

Snukal said Monday's development was an "appropriate result."

"Both my client and I are very relieved," said Snukal outside the courtroom.

Mills has been behind bars since her arrest in May 2018.

Simon died from head injuries

Around 1 a.m. on Feb. 22, 2017, Simon showed up at a Calgary bank where security guards noticed she was injured and bleeding. 

At first, she told the 911 operator her ex-boyfriend had hit her. She later said it was "someone else."

Simon was taken to hospital and died of multiple blunt force injuries the next night.

Mills and Simon had been hanging out with a third person, Waylon Bird, the night the victim was fatally injured.

Though Bird initially told police he'd seen Mills hit Simon in the head, he changed his story under cross-examination last week. 

Alberta Justice said there was not a "reasonable likelihood of conviction" as the reason for staying the charge.

Daughter died while Mills behind bars

Snukal said her client has spent the majority of her life in and out of jail or homeless, "suffering with significant addiction that came from intergenerational trauma."

"Miss Mills is probably the most institutionalized Aboriginal female I have ever worked with in the last 14 years of my practice."

While Mills was in custody awaiting trial, her 25-year-old daughter was found dead in a hotel room in Calgary.

"She's relieved she can go back to her community and grieve the death of her daughter."