A man charged in a fatal swarming and stabbing outside a Calgary nightclub more than five years ago and who later fled the country to avoid justice has been found guilty of first-degree murder.
A judge brought down the verdict Wednesday morning in the trial of Nathan Gervais, who now faces an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.
Gervais, who is 24, was accused of killing 18-year-old Lukas Strasser-Hird, who died in hospital after he was attacked in an alley in November 2013.
Gervais failed to show up for his original trial date in 2016 and was arrested in Vietnam the next year.
His lawyer did not present any evidence and Gervais did not testify in his own defence.
Calgary police said in January that two city men accused of helping Gervais leave Canada, Sean Airey and Marshall Quillian, were facing charges that include being an accessory after the fact to murder and obstruction of justice.
The Crown said during the trial that two altercations occurred on the night of the assault — one in front of the nightclub and the second behind the business.
The prosecutor said Gervais left the club to get a knife and then stabbed Strasser-Hird three times, intending to kill him.
Closed-circuit television footage from outside the club was examined by police and shown in court, but the defence argued that there was no proof that the murder was planned.
Closing arguments in the case were presented on April 5. (CTV Calgary)
The Canadian Press