Derek Saretzky to appeal convictions in southern Alberta triple murder

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Triple murderer Derek Saretzky is asking the Alberta Court of Appeal for a new trial.

On Thursday, the day before the deadline, Saretzky filed his notice of appeal, arguing his life sentence with no chance of parole is “unconstitutional” and that his convictions should be overturned.

The 24-year-old from Blairmore, Alta., had originally pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the 2015 deaths of Hanne Meketech, 69, Terry Blanchette, 27, and his daughter, Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, 2.

In June, a jury convicted Saretzky of all three counts of murder, as well as performing an indignity to a body in relation to the toddler.

In his notice of appeal, Saretzky — who is being held at a prison in New Brunswick — argues the trial judge erred in allowing the videotaped confessions made to police to go before the jury. He said the statements were a violation of his charter rights.

In those video statements, Saretzky not only confessed to violently murdering the three, but also took police to the campsite where he killed the toddler and performed a re-enactment.

Derek Saretzky re-enactment

In this image from police video, Derek Saretzky appears at the scene where he told officers he killed and dismembered Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. (Court exhibit )

In their closing arguments, prosecutors were allowed to point out similarities between the killing of Meketech and the murders of Hailey and her father, which Saretzky argues was also an error in law.

Saretzky was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for at least 75 years in August.

“The sentence of 75 years parole ineligibility is unfit,” wrote Saretzky in his notice of appeal.

He is one of only a handful of Canadians to receive three consecutive life sentences since the legislation was introduced, including triple-murderer Douglas Garland, convicted in Calgary earlier this year.

Victims died violent deaths

Five days after Saretzky killed Meketech, Blanchette’s body was found in the bathroom of his Blairmore home. His daughter was missing.

Saretzky confessed to bludgeoning Blanchette with a crowbar and then slitting his throat before stealing the sleeping toddler from her crib upstairs and taking her to a campsite belonging to his relatives.

There, he told police, he killed the young girl, dismembered her body and performed acts of cannibalism before burning the remains.

A date for Saretzky’s appeal to be argued has not been set.

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Derek Saretzky to appeal convictions in southern Alberta triple murder

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