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Convicted killers set to testify against 3rd man charged in death of Calgary Uber driver

A man walking his dogs in a rural area west of Calgary initially believed someone had placed a mannequin in the snow before realizing it was a man propped up against a snowbank with a blood trail from the road leading to his body, a judge heard Monday.

Robert Daignault, 55, is the third person to be charged in the death of Uber driver Kasif Hirani, who was stabbed more than 30 times in the early morning hours of Dec. 29, 2019.

Andrew Christal and Trista Tinkler are already serving manslaughter sentences and are expected to testify for the Crown later this week in Daignault’s trial.

Daignault’s first-degree murder trial got underway Monday.

On the night of Dec. 28, 2019, Hirani and Tinkler had a plan to meet up for sexual services. 

Unbeknownst to Hirani, Tinkler, Daignault and Christal made their own plan to rob the victim, according to the Crown’s theory of the case. 

In the early morning hours of Dec. 29, the trio forced Hirani, an Uber driver, into the back of his own car, according to prosecutor Britta Kristensen’s opening statement to Justice Eleanor Funk.

As they drove, the killers “repeatedly threatened” Hirani, demanding his banking information, according to Kristensen.

A police truck blocks a snow covered rural road.
Kasif Hirani’s body was found near the Springbank Airport, west of Calgary. He had been stabbed more than 30 times in the early morning hours of Dec. 29, 2019. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

The group stopped in a remote area near the Springbank Airport and forced Hirani out of the car. 

Outside, he was beaten and stabbed by Daignault, according to the Crown.

Hirani was left in a snowbank, where he died. 

A trail of blood

Hours later, as the sun rose, Daryl Johannesen was in the area with his two yellow Labs.

Johannesen testified Monday that as he walked along the road, he spotted what he believed to be a moose or deer carcass.

Then he got closer. 

“My initial thought was it was a mannequin,” Johannesen said.

“Then I could see blood on the road.”

Johannesen said he called 911 and waited for police to arrive.

Kristensen and fellow prosecutor Alyx Nanji will question Christal, who was described as the Crown’s “primary witness,” on Wednesday.

Daignault is represented by defence lawyers Andrea Urquhart and Jeanine Zahara.

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