Monday, June 27, 2022

Man convicted of first degree murder in Hinton double homicide | Nation World News

Warning: The details in this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers.

A convicted sex offender pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the 2021 death of a 24-year-old woman and her 16-month-old child in Hinton, Alta.

Robert Keith Major was originally charged with second-degree murder in the September 2021 deaths of Machale Bush and his son Noah McConnell. Last December, those charges were upgraded to first-degree murder. Major was also charged with two counts of interfering with human remains.

Major confessed his crime on the charge of murder in court on Monday morning. Prosecutors said charges of interfering with human remains would be dropped at a later date.

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According to an agreed statement of facts, Bush and his son went to the playground on the morning of September 16, 2021. They returned home after noon.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m., Bush talked with the building manager about the dirt and mud on the floor in the hallway and stairwell outside his family’s apartment. The building manager believed the clay was from the work shoes of Cody-Lee McConnell – Bush’s fiancé and Noah’s father.

The building manager asked Bush to clean it. The agreed statement of facts said Major overheard the conversation and offered to clear it up, which Bush accepted because she was caring for Noah.

At about 2 p.m. Bush was cooking in the kitchen and Noah was sleeping in his crib.

The agreed statement of facts states that it is unknown, but Bush soon ends up in Major’s apartment.

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Major lived in an apartment adjacent to the family. According to the agreed statement of facts, at around 2 p.m., Major “deliberately strangled Machale Bush to death”. He also sexually abused her and mutilated her body.

“Major’s assault was sexually motivated,” read the statement, with Bush trying to escape and defend himself.

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Moments later, Major intentionally killed Noah, according to the document. The cause of death of the boy was suffocation.

The Major placed the child’s body in a garbage bag and deposited it in the building’s dumpster, the court heard through an agreed statement of facts.

Just after 6:20 p.m., McConnell returned home from work and could not find her fiancé and son in the apartment. McConnell was concerned at the raw food, Bush’s car parked outside, and Noah’s stroller in the apartment.

After asking anyone in the building if they had seen Bush and Noah, McConnell called Bush’s mother, who had not heard from him. Bush’s mother reported the couple missing to the RCMP.

The bodies of Bush and Noah were found less than 24 hours later. On September 17, the RCMP arrested Major.

Click to play video: 'Alberta man speaks openly about murder of fiancé and son in Hinton, fuels justice system complaints'

Alberta man speaks candidly about murder of fiancé and son in Hinton, fuels justice system complaints

Alberta man speaks candidly about murder of fiancé and son in Hinton, fuels justice system complaints – November 30, 2021
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Family and friends sat in court on Monday on one side of the courtroom. The screaming could be heard as soon as the Major came in front of him through CCTV.

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Verna Sand spoke on behalf of the McConnell family outside court after the proceedings. She said that they are grateful for the guilty plea and they need not undergo trial.

“She was a very bright, strong girl. She was a beautiful boy,” Sand said tearfully.

“They were innocent victims. Cody is an innocent victim. All he did was try to do the best he could by his family every day. He brought them here to work and he provided a wonderful life for them. They were innocent.”

Sand said he would like to see changes made to the sex offender registry in Alberta, including ensuring that repeat offenders’ sanctions are never lifted and are subject to lifelong surveillance.

“We believe that if that were the case, we wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “All I want is for our justice system to know that we failed. No, Machale and Noah failed and we need to step up and protect the innocent. ,

The family has started a petition hoping to push for change. Information on the petition can be found on the website maintained by the family.

Major is scheduled to return to court on November 22 for a sentencing hearing.

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Justice Marta Burns said the sentencing was to be held at that time to await a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on the constitutionality of continuous life sentences for multiple murders.

credit: Rob Meijer/Facebook

Robert Major, 53, of Hinton, Alta.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Nation World News Desk
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