Calgary

Man who killed 'violent' roommate with machete guilty of murder

A Calgary man who fled to Toronto following a fatal machete attack on his roommate has been convicted of second-degree murder.

Jonathan Sylvester, 42, used a machete to kill Jordan Gregory Frydenlund in 2017

Jonathan Sylvester was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Jordan Gregory Frydenlund, 30. (Calgary Police Service)

A Calgary man who fled to Toronto following a fatal machete attack on his roommate has been convicted of second-degree murder.

Jonathan Sylvester, 42, killed Jordan Gregory Frydenlund on Oct. 27, 2017, in the southwest community of Kingsland.

Frydenlund, 30, died from a "deep machete wound to the neck," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Keith Yamauchi described in reading his 47-page decision.

Throughout the trial, Yamauchi heard evidence that Frydenlund was "a violent man who had no fear of anyone."

Jordan Gregory Frydenlund was killed in a machete attack in 2017. (beaulacfuneralhome.com)

Accused tried to evict victim

In fact, the victim was so prone to violence, he was known to put gloves on before initiating beatings.

The day he was killed, Frydenlund physically attacked two of his roommates, including Warren Swampy, who had returned home to the apartment with a bloodied face.

Fed up with his behaviour and, while Frydenlund was away from the apartment, they decided to take his belongings from the storage closet where he slept with the plan to toss them in a garbage bin outside.

After getting into the small room, Sylvester discovered Frydenlund had stolen a number of items from his roommates, further enraging him.

As Sylvester and two roommates were carrying armfuls of Frydenlund's belongings outside, the victim arrived home.

Sylvester fled to Toronto

Sylvester berated Frydenlund for stealing and for attacking Swampy.

As Frydenlund approached Sylvester, he began to put on his gloves.

Standing on the back steps to the unit, Sylvester swung a machete he had been carrying at Frydenlund, striking him in the neck.

Then he fled. 

He left the apartment, disposed of the machete and just days later he moved to Toronto under a new name.

Sylvester's story 'far-fetched'

During the trial, Sylvester testified in his own defence, pointing the finger at another roommate, but Yamauchi said the accused told a "far-fetched" story that was not believable. 

Failing that, Sylvester's lawyer Michael Oykhman invited the judge to find his client was acting in self-defence when he attacked Frydenlund. 

That argument was also rejected by the judge, who found Sylvester did not swing the machete to protect himself and that the machete attack was not reasonable in the circumstances.

Yamauchi said when Sylvester could not provide a reasonable, rational or logical explanation, he would simply say he was drunk and high.

Sylvester was making things up "as they came into his head" while testifying, said the judge.

"This court does not accept Mr. Sylvester's story," said Yamauchi.

The judge will hear sentencing arguments from Oykhman and prosecutor Melissa Bond in the coming weeks.

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

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.