A man suspected in a fatal double stabbing of an Edmonton mother and child was released on bail 18 days before the killings.
According to sources, Muorater Arkangelo Mashar is the suspect who was shot by Edmonton police officers last Friday following an attack on Carol Ann Robillard, 35, and her 11-year-old child, Sara Miller, who had recently started using the first name Jayden.
Robillard and Miller were both killed in the stabbing outside Crawford Plains School.
Family members identified the mother and child during a vigil outside the school in southeast Edmonton on Saturday.
On Monday, Edmonton Police Service Chief Dale McFee described the attack as “completely random.”
“In no way could the victims have anticipated what would happen to them. There is no making sense of this,” he said during an update on the case.
EPS has not named the suspect, who police said was on life support in hospital as of Tuesday. No charges have been laid in the case.
However, multiple sources have told CBC that 33-year-old Mashar is the the suspect in the double homicide. He was living less than 400 metres away from Crawford Plains School.
A combination of court and parole records reveal that Mashar has a long history of charges and convictions for violent attacks dating back nearly 14 years, with victims in both Alberta and Manitoba. He’s been in and out of prison and jail many times, and has been convicted of assaulting both people in the community and a fellow inmate.
The earliest offences on Mashar’s record are three different robberies in Edmonton on Dec. 4, 2009, for which he was sentenced to four years in prison.
According to parole documents, Mashar’s parole term for that offence expired with no issues, but he was arrested for another violent crime in Manitoba in 2014.
Parole documents call suspect ‘unpredictable’
On June 7, 2014, Mashar and another person were sitting on a bench at a bus stop. They got involved in a verbal dispute that escalated into a physical fight, parole documents say.
“You were armed with a knife and stabbed your victim once in the upper back. You then fled on foot. Your victim’s injuries included a punctured aorta and a laceration to his spinal cord,” the documents read.
The parole documents don’t specify exactly where the stabbing happened, but records provided by the Provincial Court of Manitoba show that Mashar committed an aggravated assault on that date, and that he was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in 2015.
A psychiatrist who assessed Mashar in October 2014 found him fit to stand trial, but noted that he’d been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.
Parole officials said that while in prison, Mashar displayed “problematic behaviour,” including an assault on a correctional officer and two assaults on inmates.
“You are noted to be unpredictable and are somewhat paranoid and are manipulative with staff,” a 2018 parole decision reads.
Mashar was released on parole on Jan. 26, 2018, and was ordered to live in a community residential facility and abide by a number of conditions, including being seen by a psychologist and a psychiatrist.
Mashar’s parole was revoked and he was taken back into custody in April 2018 after he tested positive for methamphetamine.
The next available record reveals that he was back in Alberta in the fall of 2020.
Court records show a conviction for a Sept. 3, 2020 assault on a person in Edmonton. Mashar also has three convictions for assault with a weapon, after attacking three different people with bear spray on Nov. 7, 2020.
Mashar was sentenced for all four 2020 assaults in February 2021. It’s unclear how much time he served in custody, but the following month, he was charged with several more offences in Calgary.
Most of those charges were later withdrawn, but he was convicted of shoplifting from a 7-Eleven and failing to comply with a condition of his release.
Recent Edmonton assaults
During EPS Chief McFee’s Monday update, he said that the suspect in Friday’s double homicide also attacked a 12-year-old on the LRT last year.
Court records show that Mashar has convictions for assaulting two people in Edmonton on April 14, 2022. CBC has not confirmed the ages of those complainants or the locations of the assaults.
In August 2022, while in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre, Mashar was charged with assault with a weapon, having attacked someone with “human feces or an imitation.”
On Feb. 8, 2023, a judge ordered an assessment of Mashar’s mental condition to determine if he was fit to stand trial.
He was deemed fit, according to the Crown prosecutor assigned to that case.
Court records show that on Feb. 10, 2023, Mashar pleaded guilty to the assaults from the previous year, along with charges of obstruction and failing to abide by probation conditions. He received a jail sentence, but it’s unclear how long it was, factoring in his time in pre-trial custody. Sentencing generally grants enhanced credit for time spent in jail before a conviction.
The most recent charge on Mashar’s record with the courts is assault with a weapon, for having allegedly assaulted a person with a scooter on April 14. He was released on bail three days later.
The Crown prosecutor in that case stayed the scooter assault charge on May 3. In an email Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Crown’s office said the matter no longer met the standard for prosecution.
At McFee’s news conference on Monday, he expressed frustration with what he called gaps in services and supports between the justice and health-care systems.
“There were multiple intervention points, multiple opportunities to hold the suspect accountable and provide him the professional support required to manage his behaviour. But the system once again failed,” the chief said.
McFee also raised calls by his fellow Canadian police chiefs for bail reform, mandatory mental-health assessments for violent offenders, and co-ordinated justice and mental-health supports.
On Friday, Edmonton police released the results of autopsies on Robillard and Miller, stating that the cause of death for both victims was sharp force injuries.
Because police shot and seriously injured Mashar, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) — the province’s police watchdog — is also investigating.
An ASIRT spokesperson said Tuesday that the agency will not give updates on any of its current investigations until after the provincial election on May 29.