CALGARY — Sentencing arguments are to be heard today for a man who said he acted in self-defence when he strangled his wife and entombed her body in their basement.
In May, a judge found Allan Shyback, 40, guilty of manslaughter in the 2012 death of his wife Lisa Mitchell in the couple’s Calgary home.
Justice Rosemary Nation ruled Shyback was not guilty of the original second-degree murder charge. She said she was “left with a reasonable doubt on the intention of the accused.”
Shyback testified he had been the victim of domestic abuse for nearly a decade and Mitchell had attacked him with a knife the day she was killed.
The judge said the force Shyback used to fend off Mitchell, who was 31, was only reasonable until the couple fell to the ground.
Once Mitchell was overpowered and the knife was out of her hand, however, Shyback used “force that was more than necessary,” the judge ruled.
Shyback said he panicked after he discovered Mitchell was dead and was afraid to call the police.
Mitchell was last seen in Calgary in October 2012. An undercover police operation started in 2013 and ended with Shyback’s confession and arrest in Winnipeg a year later.
Shyback was also found guilty of causing an indignity to a body for putting Mitchell’s remains in a Rubbermaid container and cementing it into a wall in the basement of their home.
The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life in prison. The maximum for indignity to a human body is five years.