Jared Eliasson found guilty of aggravated assault in crowbar attack on woman
Newspaper carrier attacked driver with crowbar, leaving her with broken arms
A man who broke an Edmonton woman's arms with a crowbar in an early-morning road-rage attack has been found guilty of aggravated assault.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain delivered his decision on Friday. He also found the attacker, Jared Eliasson, guilty of possession of a dangerous weapon and mischief.
But Germain found Eliasson not guilty of attempted murder.
The judge said he was left with a reasonable doubt that Eliasson intended to kill his victim. He said he believed Eliasson got out of his car, motivated by road rage and armed with a crowbar, prepared to damage Schendzielorz's vehicle, not to assault her.
Around 7 a.m. on March 7, 2017, Chelsey Schendzielorz honked at a driver in a small silver car blocking an intersection in the King Edward Park neighbourhood of southeast Edmonton.
The encounter was captured on Schendzielorz's dash camera.
Schendzielorz travelled a couple of blocks to park in front of her house. As she sat chatting on the phone to her father, a silver car drove up beside her, then backed up and parked behind her vehicle.
She said the driver got out holding a crowbar and hit her twice, breaking both her arms.
Eliasson, who was delivering newspapers at the time, admitted he was the driver in the vehicle that was honked at.
But in an interview recorded with police, he denied his involvement in the attack 17 times. The judge said Eliasson showed an "unnatural lack of sincerity that almost borders on the level of the absurd."
At one point, Eliasson suggested Schendzielorz might have broken her own arms.
Germain was sharply critical.
"The entire statement, taken in context, reflects not an individual expressing innocence, but an individual taunting police that the evidence will fall short of what's needed to attain his conviction," the judge said.
Judge refers to 17 denials of guilt made by Jared Eliasson in police interview, "“I do not believe his denials of guilt.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CBC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yeg?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yeg</a>—@cbcjanjohnston
Germain called the circumstantial evidence against Eliasson "very strong."
Any suggestion Eliasson was not the person who assaulted Schendzielorz is "ludicrous," the judge said.
He also noted the inconsistencies in the various accounts given by the victim in describing her attacker, the clothes he wore and the weapon he wielded.
Germain called Schendzielorz a credible witness with unreliable testimony.
"I'm not being critical of Ms. Schendzielorz," Germain said. "Eyewitness identification — particularly when under stress —is often unreliable. It's a weakness we all have."
Eliasson, who remains free on bail, is to be sentenced on July 2. He'll be on house arrest, living with his mother. He plans to begin school in May. Germain has ordered a pre-sentence report.