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Drumheller RCMP / Major Crimes Unit Lay Further Charges in Homicide

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Drumheller, Alberta – The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have arrested and charged a youth as a result of the ongoing investigation into the murder of Fazal Rehman, whose body was discovered south of Morrin on October 16, 2017.

In late October, Dylan Donald Howard of Munson was arrested and charged with one count of first degree murder.  He remains in custody pending his trial.

The Major Crimes Unit from Calgary maintained carriage of this investigation and continued to investigate in partnership with other RCMP specialized units.  On June 5th 2017, a 16-year-old female was arrested and charged with Accessory after the Fact of Murder and Attempting Obstruction of Justice.  The female, who cannot be named according to the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is scheduled to appear in Provincial court in Calgary this morning at 9:30.

The RCMP will not be commenting further as the mater is now before the courts.

 

BACKGROUND:

 

UPDATE #1

October 27, 2017

Drumheller RCMP charge man with first degree murder

Drumheller, Alberta –  Investigators arrested a 20-year-old man yesterday for the murder of Fazal Rehman (36), whose body had been discovered at the scene of a burning vehicle in a rural area south of the village of Morrin on Monday, October 16, 2017.

The police investigation into the incident confirmed the identity of the deceased man is Fazal Rehman, of Calgary, who was known also by the name of Afzad Rehman.

An autopsy was completed by the Medical Examiner’s Office in Calgary on Thursday, October 19 and based upon its findings, as well as evidence gathered from the scene, the RCMP committed several specialized resources to the homicide investigation including its Major Crimes Unit (MCU) from Calgary, Forensic Identification Section (FIS), Auto Theft Section and Police Dog Services (PDS).

Yesterday, Dylan Donald Howard (20) of Munson, Alberta was arrested without incident in Airdrie.  Mr. Howard has been charged with one count of first degree murder and will appear in Provincial Court in Drumheller on Friday, November 10, 2017.

Morrin is approximately 263 kilometres south east of Edmonton and 161 kilometres northeast of Calgary.

Additional information will not be released at this time as the matter is now before the courts, however, should new details arise an updated media release will be issued.

 

 

Original News Release

October 17, 2017

Drumheller RCMP investigate human remains

Drumheller, Alberta – On Monday, October 16, at approximately 8:00 a.m., members of the Drumheller RCMP Detachment responded to a report of a burning vehicle in a rural area south of the village of Morrin, Alberta.  Firefighters from Morrin attended and extinguished the flames.  Human remains were discovered at the scene.

Members of the RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit (MCU) have assumed carriage of the investigation with assistance from the Drumheller RCMP Detachment and specialized units such as the RCMP’s Forensic Identification Section (FIS) and its Auto Theft Unit from Calgary.

The investigation is ongoing and the last known registered owner of the vehicle has been located and has been spoken to by police.  An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Calgary.

Morrin is approximately 263 kilometres south east of Edmonton and 161 kilometres northeast of Calgary.

The RCMP requests that anyone with information about this case to call the Drumheller RCMP Detachment.  In the event that callers wish to remain anonymous, they are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by internet at www.tipsubmit.com.

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Alberta

Calgary police charge teen accused of trying to hire someone to murder another youth

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Calgary police are accusing a 16-year-old of trying to hire someone to kill another youth.

Police say in a release that they began investigating last month after getting a complaint.

After a six-week investigation, police say officers gathered enough evidence to support charging the teen.

Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm says the allegations are disturbing and police are thankful they could investigate before anything tragic happened.

The teen was arrested on Tuesday and is charged with counselling to commit murder, breach of a court order and possession of marijuana.

The suspect cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.

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Alberta

Alberta judge finds man guilty of manslaughter in death of one-year-old son

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By Daniela Germano in Edmonton

An Alberta judge has found a man guilty of manslaughter in the death of his one-year-old son as well as of assaulting his young daughter.

The man’s lawyer argued in court that the father should be found not criminally responsible for his son’s death in November 2019.

Rory Ziv argued that a severe sleep disorder put the man from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., in a state of automatism, which made him incapable of understanding his actions when he killed his son and injured his daughter, who was five at the time.

There is a publication ban on identifying the girl because she is a minor.

The man testified at trial that he has no memory of hurting his children, saying he fell asleep on the couch while caring for them. He said he dreamt he was being attacked and awoke to find that he injured his children.

A sleep expert also testified at trial after examining the man two years following the boy’s death. Dr. Colin Shapiro said he found “thumbprints” of parasomnia, a disorder in which people do things while asleep that they are unaware of, such as sleepwalking.

Shapiro testified he saw multiple arousals during the man’s deep sleep.

The man was initially charged with second-degree murder, but the prosecution asked the judge to consider a verdict of manslaughter instead.

Crown attorney Sandra Christensen-Moore said at trial earlier this month that evidence suggested the man was intoxicated at the time of the attack, which would affect his ability to form the intent needed for second-degree murder.

In announcing his verdict Wednesday, Justice John Henderson said it was more likely that the accused was suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms from his opioid addiction and lashed out at his children.

Court heard that the man has a history of substance abuse with cocaine, alcohol, heroin and prescription opioids. He admitted to self-medicating his back pain with heroin and illegally obtained Percocet.

Henderson said the man got into an argument with is partner the day of his son’s death and threw a plate in the woman’s direction because they did not have enough money for him to buy cigarettes.

“Certainly there is no doubt on the evidence that (the man) was having serious sleep difficulties and serious back pain at the time of these events,” the judge said.

“I’m also satisfied that the evidence is very clear that he was experiencing other stressors, including financial issues and relationship issues. He was also experiencing significant symptoms of heroin withdrawal.”

But Henderson said the defence was not able to prove that the man was in a state of automatism when he attacked his children.

“While I am satisfied that there is some evidence that could potentially support the conclusion of automatism, when I consider the totality of the evidence, I find it is not possible to come to that conclusion.”

The father is to be sentenced at a later date.

The judge said the man, who was prone to explosive outbursts, adapted his story about what happened the day of his son’s death as a way to rationalize his behaviour.

Henderson said such rationalization was most evident in the “evolving story” of the man’s dream of being teleported and attacked by a shadow creature during which he was trying to protect his children.

“This story did not exist for more than one year after (the boy’s) death and it only began evolving thereafter.

“The story was crafted to satisfy a narrative that would lead to a conclusion of automatism.”

Henderson noted that a forensic psychologist testified that the man had unresolved anger issues.

The judge said the man became overwhelmed by his situation and burst out in an aggressive and disproportionate manner when striking his children.

“I conclude that this explanation is for the attack is much more likely than the conclusion of automatism.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.

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