CALGARY – The mother of Calgary teacher Craig Kelloway said she’s devastated after a judge found Nicholas Rasberry guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter in her son’s death.
Monica Kelloway broke down as she read about the decision on social media from her home in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
“He got away with murder. It’s unreal,” she said. “I’m sorry but that man—he took our life away. The justice system failed us. They forgot Craig, the victim.”
Rasberry, 32, was originally charged with second-degree murder in the death of Kelloway, 31, who was stabbed to death May 4, 2013 in Rasberry’s Auburn Bay home. Rasberry maintained he was acting in self defence, and claimed Kelloway was threatening to rape him.
READ MORE: ‘I remember the moment of stabbing him’ – Court hears Rasberry video interview
Justice Robert Hall said the two men “were the only people present during the altercation” in a lengthy written decision.
“I find myself skeptical of Rasberry’s version of events,” Hall said, rejecting Rasberry’s claim of self defence in light of the 37 wounds and three knives used in the stabbing. Hall called the actions of the accused “unreasonable.”
Rasberry showed no emotion as the ruling was made.
Judge orders a psych report for Rasberry #yyc
— Nancy Hixt (@NancyHixt) October 28, 2015
Crown prosecutor Todd Buziak told the media self defence is “an absolute defence.”
“If it would have been accepted, the finding would have been not guilty,” said Buziak. “Provocation, however, is a limited defence; it negates the intent for second-degree murder or first-degree to manslaughter. ”
Neither the prosecution nor Rasberry’s defence lawyer, Hersh Wolch, would comment on a possible sentence.
The sentencing range for manslaughter can go from time served to life in prison.
The case had to be moved to a larger room to accommodate the hundreds of people who showed up for the decision Wednesday. There were dozens of supporters for both the victim’s family and the accused. Some of Kelloway’s former students also came to hear the ruling.
A two-week trial ended earlier this month. The Queen’s Bench Justice had reserved his decision until Wednesday.
READ MORE: ‘I pray every night for justice for Craig’: Calgary murder victim’s mother
Rasberry will now undergo a psychiatric assessment before sentencing in late November or early December.
Kelloway’s mother said she feels helpless, but is vowing to fight for justice for her son.
“The laws have to be changed—it’s got to protect the victim.”
Craig Kelloway Obtained by Global News
Obtained by Global News
With files from Melissa Ramsay