December 9, 2020 by Daniela Germano - THE CANADIAN PRESS
EDMONTON – An Edmonton man sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison for breaking a woman’s arms with a crowbar in a road-rage attack has lost an appeal of his conviction.
Jared Eliasson was granted bail in December 2019, moments after he was sentenced, pending the appeal.
Eliasson, who is in his early 30s, was acquitted in April 2019 of attempted murder but found guilty of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and damage to property.
A woman testified at his trial that in March 2017 she had honked at Eliasson for blocking an intersection with his vehicle, and he followed her home and attacked her.
The woman was treated in hospital for two broken arms that required multiple surgeries.
Eliasson asked the Court of Appeal of Alberta for a mistrial on the grounds that he had new evidence suggesting the woman’s injuries were due to a fall.
In a written decision released Tuesday, all three judges dismissed the appeal on the ground that “fresh evidence, even if it had been admitted, would not have had any effect on the ultimate outcome.”
Eliasson must turn himself in by Dec. 16.
During his trial, court heard that he repeatedly told police he did not attack Chelsey Schendzielorz. The defence argued that the Crown did not prove the identity of her attacker beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the decision, the Appeal Court judges noted that Eliasson was in the area at the time, he had motive, he was involved in the “honking incident,” the assailant’s car had distinguishing features that were “significantly similar” to Eliasson’s vehicle and a wrecking bar was found inside.
“The appellant’s decision in his statement to the police did not leave the trial judge with a reasonable doubt. The statement had an ‘unnatural lack of sincerity’ that bordered from time to time ‘almost on the level of absurd,”’ the decision reads.
“For example, the appellant suggested in his police statement that the complainant may have broken her own arms as some sort of fraud.”
The decision says that after Eliasson’s conviction, his lawyer received an anonymous call saying Schendzielorz’s injuries could not have occurred as reported in the media.
A letter from Schendzielorz’s orthopedic surgeon said her injuries were more consistent with a fall, instead of a direct blow to her arms.
The Appeal Court judges note that although the woman testified that blows broke both her arms, which she was holding over her head to protect herself, she was never asked directly whether she fell down.
Feature image via iStock.com/Artfoliophoto