Levi Cayen's co-accused appeals murder conviction

James Thomas was initially charged with first-degree murder in December 2017 death of 25 year-old Alex Norwegian. He was instead convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 10 years.

James Thomas says the judge didn't properly apply the law as it relates to first-degree murder

Alex Norwegian was found dead on a remote road near Hay River on December 28th, 2017. He died of hypothermia after being robbed and badly beaten. (Randi Beers/CBC)

One of the co-accused convicted on killing 25 year-old Alex Norwegian near Hay River in December 2017, is appealing his sentence.

James Thomas was initially charged with first-degree murder and robbery, along with co-accused Levi Cayen. 

Thomas was instead found guilty of second-degree murder and robbery and sentenced to life imprisonment without being eligible for parole for 10 years.

The two were convicted of robbing and attacking Norwegian on a remote road on the Kátł'odeeche First Nation on Dec. 27, 2017. Norwegian later died of hypothermia after he was left with a fractured skull in a windowless car in -20 C temperatures. 

In court documents, Thomas, who is currently serving his sentence in a maximum security prison in Alberta, said he's looking to appeal both his conviction and his sentence. He gave little detail but said Justice Andrew Mahar didn't properly apply the law when it came to his first degree murder charge. 

Thomas also said his sentence of being eligible for parole for 10 years is "demonstrably unfit" and the judge didn't give proper weight to "an aggravating or mitigating factor".

The notice to appeal was filed on Jan. 14, however, a publication ban prevented media from reporting on the matter until the conclusion of Cayen's trial. 

The court document made no mention of when Thomas would next appear in court.

On Saturday, a jury found Levi Cayen guilty of manslaughter in Norwegian's death after four weeks of trial. A date for his sentencing has yet to be set.

Two others who were charged in connection with Norwegian's death, Sasha Cayen and Tyler Cayen, pleaded guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter and accessory to manslaughter respectively in connection with the case in January 2019.

Sasha was sentenced to three years and seven months and Tyler to two years less a day.

Sasha was in a Hay River court Monday and is facing five charges of failing to comply with a probation order.