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South Asian From Calgary Found Guilty Of Killing Young Father

James Rajbhandari has been found guilty of the murder of 37-year-old Wyatt Lewis.

CALGARY – A South Asian man from Calgary has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of another man.

Wyatt Lewis, 37, was stabbed five times in the hallway of an apartment building in the 1000 block of 16 Avenue N.W. on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2012. He was rushed to hospital where he later died.

James Rajbhandari had pleaded not guilty, but a jury convicted him of the crime on Thursday.

“I think I was literally holding my breath, as most of us were,” Lewis’ Brother James Carmichael said. “But we had a good instinct among us that this was a jury that was going to see the truth.”

The conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but a judge was tasked with determining how many years Rajbhandari would serve until he was eligible for parole.

Judge Beth Hughes sentenced Rajbhandari to life in prison with no chance of parole for ten years.

Both the Crown and defence had recommended ten years parole ineligibility.

“It’s what people get for this kind of murder,” Crown prosecutor Marta Juzwiak  said. “It wouldn’t be fair to ask for more knowing that other people have gotten 10 years parole ineligibility. He still gets the 25 year life sentence.”

Lewis’ brother considers the verdict and sentence fair, adding the decision will help him to move forward.

“It was very emotional a big release of emotion — (there was) a lot of anxiety leading into this, so to have that deflated was a wave of emotion we didn’t expect,” Carmichael said.

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