Prosecutor unsure whether to appeal four-year sentence given to Yellowknife cabbie killer

Ahmed Mahamud Ali's taxi licence photo courtesy of Shirley McGrath

Crown prosecutors in Yellowknife have yet to decide if they will launch an appeal into the four-year jail sentence handed to a Yellowknife man who killed a City Cab driver back in November of 2018.

Senior Crown prosecutor Alex Godfrey spoke with CKLB Thursday.

“We have 60 days from the day of the sentence to launch an appeal. We will be looking carefully at the transcript of the judge’s decision to see if there are any grounds for an appeal,” he said.

Godfrey also pointed out that you can’t appeal a sentence just because you don’t like it—there has to be grounds for appeal, including an error in the judge’s decision.

Social media has been rife with outrage over the length of the sentence since Elias Schiller, 20, was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The Crown had called for a six-year sentence for Schiller, while his lawyer argued that four years would be appropriate.

Supreme Court Judge Andrew Maher sided with the defence, pointing out that Schiller had no prior criminal record and was only 18-years old at the time of the vicious crime.

Court heard that 73-year-old cab driver Ahmed Mahamud Ali had picked up an intoxicated Schiller at Coast Fraser Tower in the middle of the night and asked for the fare up front before he drove him to the Wilkinson Crescent home he shared with his father.

There was some sort of dispute between the two in the cab while in the driveway where Ali shoved Schiller.

Ali then fled the cab on foot but Schiller chased him down and beat him to death.

It was never made clear in court whether the fare was paid, but the Crown insists there was no evidence of a robbery.

Schiller, who has been in custody since his arrest shortly after the beating, will have about two years and three months left to serve, taking into account his pre-trial custody.

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.