A review panel has reserved its decision on privileges for Matthew de Grood who was found not criminally responsible for killing five young people at a Calgary house party. (Image by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Review board hears mass killer takes medication, should have trips into Edmonton

EDMONTON — A review panel has reserved its decision on what privileges it may allow a man found not criminally responsible for killing five young people at a Calgary house party while suffering schizophrenic delusions.

A Crown prosecutor and mental health officials have agreed with a proposal to ease Matthew de Grood back into society.

The psychiatrist in charge of de Grood’s medical treatment said the man’s risk of reoffending is low.

But Dr. Santoch Rai also told the Alberta Review Board that if de Grood were to commit another offence, it would be severe.

A judge in 2016 found de Grood not criminally responsible for the killings because he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time.

A trial heard that the 22-year-old believed that the devil was talking to him and that a war was about to begin, signalling the end of the world, when he arrived at the Calgary party, which was being held to mark the end of the school year.

He killed Zackariah Rathwell, 21; Jordan Segura, 22; Kaitlin Perras, 23; Josh Hunter, 23; and Lawrence Hong, 27.

The review board decided last year that de Grood, with his mental condition in remission, could be transferred from a secure psychiatric hospital in Calgary to Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.

Rai told five board members on Tuesday that de Grood knows he needs to take his medication. The psychiatrist suggested that his patient should be allowed to have unsupervised trips to supervised places in Edmonton, as well as be eased into living in a group home.

De Grood was asked by a panel member what his feelings were about the plan.

“I believe in following the recommendations of the team. It’s a gradual step by step where I’m constantly proving I can handle stress. I’m always taking my meds and staying away from drugs and alcohol,” de Grood said.

“I agree with the progression.”

Rai said de Grood would like to be able to visit his parents, who now have a residence in Edmonton so they can be closer to him.

In a series of emotional victim impact statements, some parents of his victims told the review board that their suffering continues.

“I know I look older,” said Lorencio Hong. “I feel older. I am a different man altogether.”

Patty Segura told the panel that she’s scared to open the window in her son’s old bedroom for fear of losing what remains of his scent.

Others said they feel no one’s being held responsible, as de Grood’s treatment is aimed at an eventual release.

That possibility is hard to stomach, said Gregg Perras.

He added that the families want to try to change that part of the law.

“We’re going to try to get absolute discharge off the table,” he said. “This whole process is broken.”

Just Posted

RCMP investigate armed robbery at central Alberta hotel

Olds RCMP say man and woman involved

Central Alberta businesses recognized at Red Deer chamber awards

A Red Deer dance studio moonwalked its way to the top at… Continue reading

Red Deer among affordable cities for renters, report shows

Red Deer’s rent is $10 below Edmonton’s and $1 above Grande Prairie,… Continue reading

North Red Deer Regional Wastewater System recognized as ‘Project of the Year’

Completed on time and on budget, it earned an APWA award

City of Red Deer hopes to see hospital expansion, new shelter in provincial budget

Red Deer’s own pared-down 2020 capital budget will be released on Friday

Your community calendar

Wednesday Red Deer River Naturalists Flower Focus Group Meeting. When: Oct. 16… Continue reading

Meet the candidates running in Red Deer-Lacombe

Each of the candidates running in the Red Deer-Lacombe riding were invited… Continue reading

MAP: Red Deer Open Houses for Oct. 18-20

Plan your open house viewings with the attached map of listings in… Continue reading

Talk of Constitution resurfaces

Here’s a good-news, bad-news story from the 2019 federal election campaign: The… Continue reading

Cundill History Prize reveals three women as finalists for its literary award

TORONTO — Three books about political movements that shaped global history are… Continue reading

Former CFL player Duke Williams making most of second NFL opportunity

ORCHARD PARK, United States — D’haquille (Duke) Williams is forever grateful to… Continue reading

McDavid, Oilers trounce Flyers, extend Philadelphia’s losing skid

Oilers 6 Flyers 3 EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers’ dynamic duo of… Continue reading

Attawapiskat musician releases protest song with Justin Trudeau in mind

TORONTO — Attawapiskat singer Adrian Sutherland says he was thinking of Liberal… Continue reading

Most Read