May 21st, 2024

Charge stayed for man accused in beating death


By Delon Shurtz on October 26, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 38-year-old man who was accused of killing another man during a house party more than two years ago, is no longer facing a manslaughter charge.
The charge against Jason James Crane Chief was stayed by the Crown last week. A stay of proceedings means the criminal case against Crane Chief has been halted, although, the charge can be returned within a year if new evidence warrants it.
“Upon further review, and after a preliminary inquiry was held in this matter, it is the determination of the Crown that there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction against Mr. Crane Chief, and accordingly, we directed a stay of proceedings on October 20th, 2021,” Chief Crown Prosecutor Dawn Janecke, said Monday.
Crane Chief was originally charged with second-degree murder in 2020, and scheduled to have a four-day preliminary hearing last June. The inquiry concluded on the first day, however, after hearing evidence from only two Crown witnesses, and after defence consented to have Crane Chief committed to stand trial on the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The matter had been adjourned several times since the preliminary hearing to schedule a trial date and allow the Crown’s office in Lethbridge time to receive direction from the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service.
Crane Chief was arrested May 1, 2020, four days after Mark Joel Moore, 43, was found dead in his southside apartment. Co-accused Justin Robert White Cow, 34, was arrested a few days later, and both men later elected to be tried by a judge and jury. However, White Cow pleaded guilty last May to manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Court was told during sentencing that White Cow and several other guests who were partying and drinking at Moore’s home developed some animosity toward their host and began to argue with him. White Cow and at least one other person punched Moore and then White Cow pushed him from behind, causing Moore to strike his head near a window. White Cow kicked Moore and punched him in the face, and he and at least one other assailant struck him with wooden chairs.
There were dozens of cuts and abrasions to Moore’s face and body. His nose was broken and there was swelling to his brain. His death was the result of multiple blunt force injuries caused during the assault.

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