Man convicted in 2015 Edmonton Mac's store killings appeals conviction, seeks mistrial

Laylin Delorme

The man convicted in the 2015 killings of two Edmonton convenience store workers is appealing his conviction and seeking a mistrial.

Lawyers for Laylin Delorme appeared before a three-justice panel at the Alberta Court of Appeal on Tuesday. 

Sarah Rankin argued that the jury at Delorme's trial was improperly charged and instructed, leaving jurors to make what she termed "leaps and guesses" in arriving at a verdict. 

"This case is not about whether these deaths were tragic or even whether they were criminal," Rankin told the court.

"The question for this panel is whether we can be confident that the jury reached their conclusion about the appellant's guilt for first degree murder ... in accordance with the law and on the basis of properly admissible evidence." 

"It is my position that this court cannot be satisfied of that."

Crown prosecutor Keith Joyce told court, "If there are any errors, they are of no real effect." 

"There's really no moral or reasoning prejudice that could taint the jury here."

The panel reserved its decision until a later date.

'SENSELESS LOSS OF LIFE'

Delorme was one of three individuals, including a 13-year-old, charged after a violent crime spree in the early hours of Dec. 18, 2015, that included the shooting deaths of two Mac's convenience store employees at two locations.

Karanpal Singh Bhangu, 35, was shot and killed during the robbery of the Mac's store at 82 Street and 32 Avenue.

About 15 minutes later, Ricky Cenabre, 41, was killed in the robbery of the Mac's store at 108 Street and 61 Avenue.

Edmonton's police chief at the time, Rod Knecht, called the shootings "a barbaric and gratuitous act of violence ... resulting in a senseless loss of life."

In June of 2018, Delorme was found guilty of first-degree murder in both deaths. 

Later that year, Delorme was sentenced to two concurrent life terms for the murders as well as two eight-year sentences for each robbery.

His co-accused, Colton Steinhauer, was also sentenced to two concurrent life terms.

In early 2019, lawyers for both the Crown and Delorme announced their intentions to file appeals.

In July 2019, Delorme was among four inmates charged with attempted murder after a severe assault at the Edmonton Institution that sent another inmate to hospital.

He is not eligible to apply for parole until 2043.