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Cran drops last appeal

Convicted Aaron Webster killer Ryan Cran has dropped his appeal of his six-year sentence for manslaughter in the gay man’s 2001 beating death, his lawyer says.

Kris Pechet now says the 2004 sentencing decision by Justice Mary Humphries does not contain any errors and the sentencing was in the appropriate range.

“There don’t seem to be any appeal points,” he concedes, adding that Cran dropped the appeal on his advice.

Cran will be eligible for full parole on Feb 8.

In November 2001, Cran and his friends chased a nearly naked Webster through Stanley Park after they found him near the entrance to the park’s gay cruising trails. They cornered him at his car and beat him until he fell to the ground, then beat him some more. Webster died at the scene.

In September, Pechet told the BC Court of Appeal that Humphries made a mistake convicting his client. In particular, Pechet argued that the judge was wrong to attach so much weight to his client’s alleged confessions.

Cran’s statement that he “lynched a guy” does not necessarily mean he was involved in a beating, Pechet told the court.

The Court of Appeal disagreed.

“I would not accede to the submission that the trial judge erred in coming to an unreasonable verdict or one that cannot be supported by the evidence,” Justice Allan Thackray wrote in a unanimous decision for Justices Anne Rowles and Ian Donald, Oct 17.

That just left Cran’s sentencing appeal, which he has now dropped.

For Webster’s family, the end of the appeals is welcome news.

“Let him serve his time out, be a real man,” says Webster’s cousin, Fred Norman.

Two youths who pleaded guilty in the case are now serving the open custody portions of their three-year manslaughter sentences, after spending two years in prison.