Canadian Man Now Faces Life In Prison For Murder After He Ran Away To Vietnam To Avoid Trial

He allegedly threw a tantrum in the courtroom.
Canadian Man Now Faces Life In Prison For Murder After He Ran Away To Vietnam To Avoid Trial
Staff Writer

Nathan Gervais, a 24-year-old Calgary man, was sentenced to life in prison after murdering a teenager outside a nightclub. He was found guilty of first-degree murder. Despite the suspect trying to flee to Vietnam to avoid his arrest, he had to eventually face his trial. He will now spend a large part of his life behind bars. 

The suspect beat and stabbed 18-year-old Luka Strasser-Hird to death outside a nightclub several years ago in 2013. Following the murder, Gervais fled to Vietnam to avoid trial and a life sentence. 

He has since been brought back to Canada from Vietnam and faced trial for his charges today on May 24, 2019. According to CBC News, Gervais threw a tantrum in the courtroom after being convicted for first-degree murder.

Gervais was one of the men who killed Strasser-Hird by swarming him in a back alley, then beating and stabbing him back in November 2013. 

According to CBC, the 18-year-old victim was defending a nightclub employee against a racist comment made by one of the men in Gervais’s friend group. The victim was then surrounded and shoved in the nightclub before bouncers escorted him outside the back door. 

Gervais and his friends Franz Cabrera, Assmar Shlah and Joch Pouk, were waiting for the teen in the back alley behind the bar. 

CBC reported that the boys began kicking, punching, and stabbing the victim while he begged for his life. A bystander called 911 but the victim later died in the hospital.

Just before he had to go to trial in 2016, Gervais fled to Vietnam. Last year in February 2018, he was arrested in Vietnam and had to return to Calgary to face his murder conviction. 

During trial, Gervais admitted that he was one of six people who stabbed the victim. Two other men, Cabrera and Shlah, were convicted of second-degree murder and another, Pouk, was found guilty of manslaughter.

During the trial that took place earlier this month, CTV reported that Gervais was smiling and giving a thumbs up to the victim's family as the judge brought down a guilty verdict. 

The victim's father, Dale Strasser-Hird, told reporters outside of the courtroom that “he’s just been found guilty of killing my son and he’s smiling at me and giving me the thumbs up - he’s a scumbag.”

Gervais now faces the repercussions for first-degree murder. His conviction is a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. 

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Stephanie Hilash
Staff Writer
Stephanie Hilash is a guest staff writer