Calgary

Sentence reduced for murderer in 2013 fatal swarming attack on Lukas Strasser-Hird

One of the men who murdered a Calgary teenager in a swarming attack has had his sentence reduced by the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Franz Cabrera can now apply for parole in 12 years instead of 15

Lukas Strasser-Hird died on Nov. 23, 2013, after he was assaulted by a group of men outside a downtown bar. (Facebook)

One of the men who murdered a Calgary teenager in a swarming attack has had his sentence reduced by the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Franz Cabrera was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 2013 death of Lukas Strasser-Hird and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years. 

The province's top court agreed with defence lawyer Gavin Wolch and ruled that Cabrera should have received the same sentence as Assmar Shlah.

Shlah, also convicted of second-degree murder, was handed a life sentence with no chance of parole for 12 years.

"It is our assessment that [Cabrera's] participation in the offence was indistinguishable from that of Shlah's for sentencing purposes," wrote the judges. 

"With that and their nearly identical backgrounds, we think the trial judge erred in not applying the parity principle."

Franz Cabrera was found guilty of murdering Lukas Strasser-Hird. The Alberta Court of Appeal has reduced his sentence, allowing Cabrera to apply for parole in 12 years instead of 15. (Twitter)

Strasser-Hird, 18, was stabbed and kicked to death by a group of men in an alley behind a Calgary nightclub on Nov. 23, 2013.

Minutes earlier, Strasser-Hird had called out a group for using a racial slur against a club employee. 

He was attacked out front of the nightclub before bouncers took him inside and then out the back door, where the angry mob was waiting.

'A young man of real character'

Two others were also convicted in the attack.

Joch Pouk was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Nathan Gervais fled the country to Vietnam ahead of his 2016 trial but was ultimately brought back to Canada and convicted of first-degree murder in 2019. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

"We would be remiss if we did not note that the victim, Lukas Strasser-Hird, was a young man of real character and great promise as indicated in the victim impact statements," wrote the judges. 

"It will be remembered that this senseless crime began because he admonished others for using a racial slur."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now