'Survival came at the cost of a manslaughter conviction': Nicholas Rasberry asks Supreme Court to hear case
Rasberry was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2013 stabbing of neighbour Craig Kelloway
The Calgary man who broke three knives in a gruesome, fatal attack on his neighbour wants the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn his manslaughter conviction.
Craig Kelloway died in 2013 after suffering 37 knife wounds.
Nicholas Rasberry has always claimed the attack was in self defence after Kelloway sexually threatened him and his wife.
"He did what was required to save himself and his wife from a would-be rapist in their home, and stopped when the threat stopped," wrote Rasberry's lawyer Gavin Wolch in his application seeking leave to appeal the conviction.
"His survival came at the cost of a manslaughter conviction."
Originally charged with second-degree murder, Rasberry was found guilty by a judge of manslaughter in 2015. That conviction was upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal in May but with just hours before the deadline, Rasberry's lawyer filed an application seeking leave to appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court of Canada.
"The Alberta Court of Appeal's interpretation of the law of self-defence ensures innocent individuals who act only to save their own lives ... will go to prison."
Kelloway was a teacher from Nova Scotia who had moved to Calgary six years before his death. He left behind a girlfriend and infant son.
Rasberry and his victim lived just two doors apart in the southeast neighbourhood of Auburn Bay and had met the afternoon of May 4, 2013.
The men and their significant others had a barbecue and drinks together in Kelloway's back yard before continuing the night at the Rasberrys' home.
Shortly after the women went to bed, Rasberry stabbed and slashed Kelloway 37 times with three knives, breaking two and bending the third.
In his call to 911, Rasberry told the operator he feared for his safety after Kelloway tried to have sex with him. He also said Kelloway threatened his wife.
When he delivered his decision, the trial judge said he was "skeptical" of Rasberry's version of events and rejected his claim of self-defence, which would have meant an acquittal.
Instead, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Hall found Rasberry was provoked, reducing the conviction from second-degree murder to manslaughter.
Rasberry remains on bail while the Alberta Court of Appeal considers his sentence appeal.
On average, it takes the Supreme Court about three months to make a decision on cases it will hear.