Calgary

'Heart of darkness:' Jury hears closing arguments in Calgary quadruple killing trial

A prosecutor delivered the Crown's closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Tewodros Kebede and Yu Chieh Liao

Tewodros Kebede and Yu Chieh Liao accused of 1st-degree murder and other charges

Tewodros Mutugeta Kebede, left, and Yu Chieh Liao face numerous charges, including 1st-degree murder, in connection with four deaths in July 2017. (Calgary Police Service)

A prosecutor in the trial of two people accused in a Calgary quadruple killing has told jurors the case is like a journey into the heart of darkness.

Brian Holtby has delivered the Crown's closing arguments in the trial of Tewodros Kebede and Yu Chieh Liao.

The pair are accused of first-degree murder in the death of Hanock Afowerk, who the jurors were told was a petty criminal who made fake identification.

Holtby told the jury that Afowerk was kidnapped, tortured and killed for little more than monetary gain and perhaps an enjoyment in inflicting pain.

Three other people — Cody Pfeiffer and sisters Tiffany Ear and Glynnis Fox — were found dead in Afowerk's car early on July 10, 2017, near a construction site.

Additional charges

Liao is charged with accessory after the fact in the deaths of all three, while Kebede is charged with being an accessory in Pfeiffer's death.

Holtby says Pfeiffer, Ear and Fox lived together in an apartment and it's the Crown's theory they were killed for being witnesses.

All three were shot to death before their bodies were burned, the trial heard.

"This case has been a journey into the heart of darkness, and we have seen the horror that human beings can inflict upon one another," Holtby said in his closing arguments.

The Crown's case rested heavily on cellphone evidence that put the accused at the sites of where it's believed the three lived, were killed and where their bodies were disposed.

Cellphone evidence questioned

Defence lawyers said the Crown has not proven its case.

Liao's lawyer and Kebede's lawyer say the Crown has not proven when and where Afowerk was killed.

They argue cellphone evidence that puts the accused at key locations cannot be trusted and that there was no evidence from the auto body shop where it's believed Afowerk was killed.

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