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Sundre McDonald’s murder trial closing arguments in September

The accused in a machete murder at a Central Alberta McDonald's remains in custody, where he has been since turning himself in to police on day of the 2022 killing.
Solaimane Elbettah and Josh Burns are seen in this video screenshot in the Sundre McDonald’s on July 3, 2022.

Closing arguments by Crown and defence lawyers in the trial of a man who admitted killing a fellow employee at the Sundre McDonald’s restaurant two years ago will take place on Sept. 27, court officials said.

Solaimane Elbettah faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Josh Burns. Elbettah has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His Calgary Court of King’s Bench trial before Justice Glen Poelman got underway on March 26, was adjourned March 29, resumed on June 4 and was adjourned on June 7. 

According to an agreed statement of facts presented during the opening of the trial, Elbettah admitted killing Burns with a machete as the two worked at the restaurant late on July 3, 2022.

During the trial, defence psychiatrist Dr. Cynthia Baxter testified that Elbettah suffered from delusions and hallucinations that caused him to believe demons were controlling him. She diagnosed Elbettah as suffering from schizophrenia.

Testifying for the Crown, Dr. Yuri Metelista said he did not believe Elbettah was suffering from schizophrenia when he attacked and killed Burns.

Elbettah remains in custody, where he has been since turning himself in to police on day of the killing.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Elbettah would face 25 year in prison before being eligible for parole. If found not criminal responsible, he could see an indeterminate sentence in a medical facility.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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