SURREY — The Crown has stayed criminal charges against a man who was arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of Troy Clysdale in Whalley on Sept. 14.
Clysdale, 49, was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital in critical condition after he was stabbed near 135A Street and 108th Avenue, at about 2 p.m. Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann said police arrested a man fleeing from the scene. He was caught roughly one block away.
A 20-year-old man was charged with aggravated assault.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team took over the investigation from the Surrey RCMP after Clysdale died the following day and IHIT’s Corporal Meghan Foster said at the time that police were consulting with the Crown to determine if the suspect would face homicide-related charges.
But now, he’s not facing any criminal charges at all related to this stabbing death.
Dan McLaughlin, spokesman for the Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, said the Crown’s job in the charge approval process is to determine if there is a “substantial likelihood” of conviction and “whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.
“A substantial likelihood of conviction exists where Crown Counsel is satisfied there is a strong, solid care of substance to present to the court,” McLaughlin said.
He added that the Crown must also consider “any viable defences that arise on the evidence. This includes ensuring that an accused was afforded the complete protections guaranteed by the Charter.
“Each case must be assessed in light of the available evidence as gathered by police, and if Crown Counsel concludes that the evidence is not sufficient to meet the branch’s standard for approving a charge, a prosecution cannot proceed.”
“In this case,” McLaughlin said, “after a thorough review of the available evidence by senior Crown Counsel, it has been decided that the branch charge assessment standard has not been met. As such, no charges were approved and the police-laid information has been stayed.”
McClaughlin did not reveal specific details that lead to the decision, however.
“I have no further information to provide on this matter,” he said.
As for the police, Foster said of the Crown’s decision to stay criminal charges, “I cannot speak to their reasoning for this.”
McLaughlin told the Now that “if, after further investigation, the police choose to resubmit the file the branch will re-assess the decision.
“That is true of any case we decline to approve,” he said. “Our decision is based on the evidence as it was submitted by the police. On the available evidence the branch concluded that the charge assessment standard had not been met.”