Brian Malley, who was convicted of first-degree murder after being found guilty of killing his disabled client by disguising an explosive device as a Christmas gift, will not have his appeal heard by the Alberta Court of Appeal.
On Feb. 24th, 2015 he was found guilty of first-degree murder, causing an explosion of an explosive substance likely to cause serious bodily harm, death or serious damage to property and sending or delivering to a person an explosive device in relation to the death of Victoria Shachtay in 2011.
Malley, 58, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years – an automatic sentence for a first-degree murder conviction. He was also sentenced to serve four years concurrently with the life sentence for the explosive charges he was convicted of – two years for each charge. He appealed his conviction shortly after.
In his decision, Justice Jean Côté said, “The offence is extremely grave. Short of treason in wartime, or multiple killings, it could not be much worse. This combination of grave crime and weak grounds of appeal allows and requires me to weigh ‘the public interest’, and does nothing to take off the table the moderate risk of non-surrender into custody or criminal conduct while on bail. I take into account what a reasonable thoughtful member of the public, not legally trained but knowing all the relevant facts and philosophy, would think.”
He added, “I have read the volume of letters about the appellant’s generous nature and character, which letters support bail. Most come from the appellant’s wife and her circle. I do not find very helpful the letters of support, especially as most assume that the appellant is entirely innocent. Yet the letters’ authors do not state that they have personal knowledge about this crime. Nor is it obvious that they would.”
Meanwhile, Malley’s charges stem after an explosion occurred inside Shachtay’s Innisfail residence in November 2011. The incident occurred after a package disguised as a Christmas gift was delivered to the home which RCMP confirmed was the source of the explosion.
Malley was arrested in Red Deer on May 25th, 2012. Shachtay, 23, was disabled and in a wheelchair from a car collision that happened in 2004. She was also a single mother to a then seven-year-old girl.
Investigation showed Malley had known Shachtay for a number of years and acted as her financial adviser. Shachtay received a settlement of $575,000 after her accident. A $200,000 loan was also taken out on behalf of Shachtay. All of that money was gone within four years. Malley also supported her from his own personal account in the amount of $44,000. During the course of the six-week long trial, 50 witnesses testified and 100 exhibits were entered.
After the verdict was handed down former Crown Prosecutor Anders Quist said this case was one of the most cold-blooded that he has ever encountered. “The evidence shows him having worked on this bomb from July of 2011 to Nov. 25th of 2011. To carefully and methodically put those pieces together over that time with the intent to kill – that is pretty cold.”