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Garland files appeal of murder convictions

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CALGARY—A man sentenced to life in prison for killing a Calgary couple and their grandson has filed an appeal.

Douglas Garland was convicted last month of the first-degree murders of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O'Brien in 2014.

Garland filed notice of appeal Friday of his convictions and life sentence, which includes no chance of parole for 75 years.

Justice David Gates said during sentencing that Garland attacked the three victims in their home, then took them to his farm, where he killed and dismembered them, burning their remains.

Lawyer James Lutz said one of the grounds for the appeal is that the judge did not exclude evidence found on the farm at the jury trial.

The Notice of Appeal said Garland is seeking a new trial or a conviction of a lesser offence.

Other grounds for appeal stated in the document include concerns about some comments the judge made to the jury.

“The trial judge's comments to the jury about coping with disturbing evidence reflected bias, was prejudicial to the defence case, and undermined the presumption of innocence,” the appeal notice said.

Garland, 57, has been assaulted twice in jail by other inmates since his conviction.

He now is serving time at a maximum security prison in Edmonton.

During his trial, the jury heard that Garland held a petty grudge against Alvin Liknes over a business deal they had, and the anger and resentment grew and grew.

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