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Woman convicted in Calgary quadruple killing case appeals


CALGARY — A woman found guilty on two charges in a Calgary quadruple killing is appealing her convictions and sentences.

Yu Chieh Liao, who also uses the first name Diana, and Tewodros Kebede were sentenced to life in prison last month for the first-degree murder of Hanock Afowerk in 2017.

The remains of sisters Glynnis Fox and Tiffany Ear, as well as those of Cody Pfeiffer, were found in Afowerk's burned-out car days before his tortured body was found by a rural highway.

Liao was also sentenced to seven years for being an accessory after the slayings of the three victims in the car, and Kebede was given six years for being an accessory after Pfeiffer's murder.

No one has been charged in the deaths of Pfeiffer, Fox and Ear, who prosecutors believe were killed because they were witnesses to Afowerk's murder.

Liao's lawyer, Jennifer Ruttan, lists several grounds for appeal, including that the judge erred in rulings on the admissibility and permissible use of evidence.

Ruttan argues the judge failed to follow a proper approach to an issue of jury tainting, erred in his charge to the jury and erred in a response to a jury question.

Liao's sentences are being appealed on the grounds they were "demonstrably unfit" and "derived through errors in principle, a failure to consider relevant factors and overemphasis of relevant factors."

Ruttan is asking for the convictions to be set aside, that there be a new trial ordered or that the sentences be substituted with "fit and proper" ones.

If Liao is granted a new trial, she wants it to be before a judge and jury.

Kebede filed his appeal earlier this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 20, 2020

The Canadian Press

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