'Senseless and tragic': Prison terms for men found guilty in death of Calgary chef

CALGARY — A judge sentenced two men to prison Friday for what he called "a deplorable act" that led to the death of a well-known Calgary chef.

Anthony Dodgson was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder after fatally stabbing Christophe Herblin while his accomplice, Tommie Holloway, was convicted of manslaughter.

Court heard Dodgson and Holloway broke into the restaurant with plans to get through a wall into an adjacent cannabis shop. They fled when a car drove by and returned later to continue their robbery attempt but became frustrated when Herblin showed up.

Holloway smashed Herblin's car windows in order to lure him into the parking lot. Dodgson attacked him and stabbed him nine times.

"Mr. Dodgson decided to participate in a scheme to lure Mr. Herblin into a situation in which he would be vulnerable and to incapacitate him in order to execute a robbery," said Court of King's Bench Justice Blair Nixon.

"Within seconds of encountering Mr. Herblin, Mr. Dodgson stabbed him nine times with a knife … and left Mr. Herblin to bleed out in a parking lot, alone and in the dark and cold. He did not seek assistance."

Herblin was a longtime executive sous chef at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club, and his new restaurant was weeks away from opening.

He stumbled to a nearby gas station seeking help but soon died.

Nixon said both men exhibited a high level of moral culpability.

"The killing of an innocent victim, who was merely present in order to secure his business, is a deplorable act and it rightly attracts public condemnation," Nixon said.

"This was a senseless and tragic killing fuelled by greed. The characteristics of this offender also display, in my view, little respect for the law."

Dodgson was already facing a life sentence. Nixon set his parole eligibility at 12 years.

Nixon said Holloway also bears responsibility for his part in Herblin's death.

"Mr. Holloway chose to participate in a scheme whereby the life of an innocent man was taken for essentially being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While he did not perform the actual killing, his degree of moral culpability remains high," Nixon said.

"His act of luring was instrumental in placing Mr. Herblin in circumstances where serious harm could and ultimately did befall him."

The Crown had requested a 12-year sentence for Holloway, but Nixon sentenced him to seven years with 2 1/2 years credit for the time he has already spent in custody.

Dodgson declined to address the court before sentencing, but Holloway again offered an apology.

"I apologize. I'm sorry for my actions that brought us all here today," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2023.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press