A former Calgary police officer and a local businessman must turn themselves in within 48 hours to begin serving their sentences for criminal harassment of a woman who was stalked during a bitter custody dispute.
Steve Walton, 65, and Ken Carter, 71, were found guilty of harassment in 2018. Walton was also found guilty of bribing a police officer, as was his wife, Heather.
Walton and Carter were each handed a three-year prison sentence while Heather was given 15 months on house arrest.
On Thursday, the Alberta Court of Appeal rejected the trio's bid to have their convictions overturned after arguments were heard in January.
The Waltons were running an unlicensed private investigation and security company in 2012 when Carter hired them amid his split with his ex-girlfriend, Akele Taylor.
Carter and Taylor shared custody of an infant daughter at the time, and the services provided by the Waltons and their employees — many of them active, suspended or retired Calgary police officers — morphed into a campaign to help Carter secure sole custody of his daughter.
The harassment included accessing police databases for information on Taylor, following her after placing a GPS tracking device on her car and offering her friends, family and associates money in exchange for negative information on her.
Over the course of about 18 months, Carter paid nearly $1,000,000 to the Waltons.
Six people, including the Waltons and Carter, were charged criminally in 2016. Two separate trials took place.
During the 2018 trial, Taylor's mother testified her daughter became so stressed during the harassment period that she became suicidal.
In the end, all six were convicted of various crimes connected to the harassment of Taylor and the related police corruption.
After Carter was convicted in 2018, he left for Russia, where he spent seven months and missed his sentencing hearing, telling the court he had fallen ill in that country .
Carter was finally sentenced in 2020.
A third trial concluded earlier this month with Carter and Walton acquitted on perjury charges. The pair had been accused of lying under oath about their business relationship during Carter's family court trial in 2014.
Now that their conviction appeals have been dealt with, Carter and Walton's sentence appeals will be argued.