Yellowknife cabbie killer who chased, beat and left victim to die facing six years in jail

Yellowknife Courthouse (CKLB File photo).

A Yellowknife man, 18-years-old at the time of his crime, is facing six years in jail for chasing and then beating a 73-year-old Yellowknife cab driver and then leaving him in the snow to die.

20-year-old Elias Schiller appeared in a packed Supreme Court in Yellowknife on Monday for the start of his sentencing hearing.

The Crown is calling for a six year sentence for him while his lawyer says four years would be sufficient.

James Schiller, 51, Elias’ father, is facing six months in jail after pleading guilty to accessory to aggravated assault.

The elder Schiller was also being sentenced at the same hearing.

He is out on bail while his son has been in custody since his arrest shortly after the attack.

Both were charged with second-degree murder after the death of 73-year-old City Cab driver Ahmed Mahamud Ali in November 2018.

Ali, an immigrant from Somalia, was found bloodied and unconscious in the back seat of his own taxi outside the emergency ward at Stanton Territorial Hospital. He had been driven there by James. Ali was later pronounced dead after being taken inside the hospital.

James Schiller is charged with accessory to aggravated assault because the Crown believes he did not know Ali was already dead when he took him to the hospital.

It was revealed today that even though James Schiller had his cellphone with him when he left the hospital, he used a payphone and disguised his voice when he called the hospital to report Ali was in the parking lot.

He also tried to shovel away the blood from the snow at the crime scene near his home on Wilkinson Cres., uptown.

The Crown and James Schiller’s lawyer have called for a sentence of six months, which amounts to time served for James Schiller who served four months before he was released on bail.

The court gives a day and a half day of credit for every day spent in pre-trial custody.

Court heard that an intoxicated Elias Schiller had been picked up by Ali at the Fraser Arms apartment and driven to Wilkinson Cres. where he lived with his father.

Ali asked Schiller for the fare up front.

It is not known if the fare was ever paid although the Crown insists there was no robbery.

What is known is that Ali and Schiller argued when they arrived at Wilkinson and that Ali fled the cab after shoving the younger Schiller.

Schiller chased him down, beat him in the head and neck badly and left him in the snow.

It took almost half an hour before the two Schillers went back to Ali and loaded him into the back seat of his cab before James Schiller drove him to the hospital.

Several Somalian friends and family gave emotional victim impact statements on Monday. They said despite their grief, they forgive the Schillers as their Muslim faith dictates they must.

Several Somalian supporters of Ali were left outside the courtroom as there were no seats for them.

The hearing was held in the smallest criminal courtroom in the building despite court officials knowing full well that there would be many Ali supporters there as they have been for all the court appearances all along.

The hearing was moved to a larger courtroom for the afternoon.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.