Dinsmore man loses life sentence appeal

By Nigel Maxwell
June 8, 2018 - 5:00pm

A new trial won't be needed for a man who shot and killed his best friend eight years ago.

Daniel Smith has learned he has lost his appeal of his life sentence, ordered by a trial judge in January, 2016. The decision by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal was released June 1.

In January, 2010, Smith shot Roger Byer multiple times. According to testimony heard in court, the two men met up at a rural location in the Yellow Creek district, where they were going to discuss a robbery they planned to stage. Byer's body was found nearly three months later, lying face down in the snow on an abandoned farmyard.

Before he died, Byer worked as an ATM technician and routinely refilled the machines. Police found over $12,000 in the glove compartment of Byer's truck and it was believed over $23,000 was missing and unaccounted for at his place of employment. Smith testified during the trial the robbery idea was contrived by Byer as a ruse to obtain money to repay his employer for funds he stole. Smith's spouse and a man who was going to sell guns to Byer also testified at the trial.

At the appeal hearing, Smith's lawyer argued there were credibility issues with the latter two witnesses which the judge failed to consider. In their decision, the appeal judges found the trial judge was operating under a correct understanding of the law, and sided with the trial judge.


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