Edmonton man convicted in road-rage attack to begin serving jail sentence

More than two years after his conviction, Jared Eliasson has been ordered to begin serving a sentence for aggravated assault, possession of a dangerous weapon and mischief causing damage. 

Eliasson was found guilty in April 2019 of attacking Chelsey Schendzielorz with a crowbar in a road-rage incident. She suffered two broken arms in an early morning attack in March 2017. He was originally charged with attempted murder.

The former newspaper delivery man was sentenced to three and a half years. With credit for time served, the sentence was reduced to two years less a day.

Eliasson appealed his conviction. The Court of Appeal ruled against him last December and he immediately launched an appeal on his sentence. That allowed him to remain out of custody until now. 

The court has ordered Eliasson to turn himself in at Edmonton Remand Centre before noon on May 25.

That’s news the victim has been waiting years to hear. 

“For me and my family, we’ve been just absolutely devastated every time it got pushed back,” said Schendzielorz, 38. “Hopefully there’s no more appeals, but right now I feel like there’s been a big weight lifted off my shoulders.” 

She said she continues to suffer physically and emotionally from the attack.

“I’m going to see a chiropractor now and we had some X-rays done after four years,” she said. “I have two screws that are coming loose on my right arm closest to my elbow, and there’s arthritis setting in somewhere.”

Jared Eliasson leaving the Edmonton courthouse during his trial, accompanied by his lawyer, Zack Elias. (Janice Johnston/CBC )

She said she still looks over her shoulder whenever she’s behind the wheel of her vehicle. 

“If I feel like someone’s following me,” she said, “I plan on where I want to go and how I’m going to get to the closest cop shop.”

‘We’ve all been on house arrest’

In its five-page decision released Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected Eliasson’s request to be given more credit for time served on house arrest.

“I’m happy they didn’t award him for the time served, because we’ve all been on house arrest basically, if not worse than what he’s been on,” Schendzielorz said. 

Alberta’s highest court also dismissed the defence argument that media attention surrounding the case, described in court as “borderline salacious,” should reduce Eliasson’s sentence.  

In response, the Crown prosecutor said the incident attracted so much media attention because it was “shocking and brutal.”

The appeal court agreed.

“The proposition that a sentence should be reduced because the grave circumstances of it are such as to foreseeably attract widespread public condemnation is counterintuitive,” the justices wrote. 

Eliasson’s lawyer has not responded to a CBC request for comment. 

Eliasson will be able to serve his sentence in a provincial jail. His term will be followed by three years on probation. Before his conviction, he had no criminal record.

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