Alberta Court of Appeal dismisses sentence appeal of man convicted in 2017 road rage crowbar attack

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Alberta’s top court has dismissed the sentencing appeal for a man found guilty of a crowbar road rage attack that left a woman with two broken arms.

Jared Eliasson was convicted on charges of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and mischief causing damage to an automobile and was sentenced in December 2019 to 3 1/2 years.

However, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Adam Germain reduced Eliasson’s sentence to two years less a day after factoring in credit for pretrial custody and time on bail.

In his appeal for a shorter sentence, Eliasson’s lawyers argued the sentencing judge erred by not providing proper credit for time on bail. It was also argued the sentencing judge did not give enough credit for identified mitigating factors and for the “significant media attention” which contributed to Eliasson’s inability to gain employment.

Finally, it was argued the sentencing judge erred “when he found the appellant’s lack of explanation as to the circumstances of the offence to be aggravating.”

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In a written decision released Wednesday, the three-judge Alberta Court of Appeal panel overseeing Eliasson’s appeal stated that the appellate court can only interfere with a sentencing if it is found to be “demonstrably unfit” or where a sentencing judge “commits an error in principle, fails to consider a relevant factor, or erroneously considers an aggravating or mitigating factor” which impacts the sentence imposed.

The ruling went over the events that occurred on March 7, 2017, when Eliasson attacked Chelsey Schendzielorz after she honked at him while he was parked on his paper route. He followed her to her home and struck her twice with crowbar as she left her vehicle.

Both of her arms were fractured and Schendzielorz was left permanently disabled.

The appeal panel found the judge used a “sound approach” in his sentencing.

“The sentencing judge can hardly be faulted for concluding, as he did here, that the circumstances are so egregious as to defy rational explanation. That is what occurred on this record,” the ruling states.

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