09/23/2013 01:50 EDT | Updated 11/23/2013 05:12 EST

Appeal court upholds first-degree murder conviction of central Alberta man

CALGARY - The Calgary Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction and sentence of a central Alberta man for murdering his estranged wife.

Brian Volker of the Delburne area east of Red Deer was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Debbie Volker.

She was shot to death in her home in February 2009 .

Volker, 52, is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 23 years.

The appeal court dismissed defence arguments that the trial judge didn't direct the jury properly during Volker's trial in 2011.

Volker has three adolescent children. (CKGY)