The family of a 20-year-old Ponoka man who died of a gunshot wound last December is angry after the two people accused in his death were recently released on bail.
Bail was previously granted for 21-year-old Amie Rogers, and then for 27-year-old Tyler John Campbell on Tuesday.
Both have been charged with second-degree murder for the death of Jeffery Kraft of Ponoka on Dec. 15, 2019, in Lacombe. They are also charged with robbery with a firearm and conspiring to commit an indictable offence of robbery.
The victim’s family feels that an accusation of murder is serious enough that the accused should be kept in custody for the duration of court proceedings.
“Our justice system seems to work for the accused,” said Allen Kraft, the young man’s father.
The Krafts say the justice system has now failed them twice: first with the release of Rogers, and now with Campbell’s.
The family feels it isn’t fair that those who allegedly took a life can spend time with friends and family, while the victim’s relatives are left bereft.
“My brother was so young … all we have are memories,” said Caitlin Kraft, the victim’s sister.
The family describes their current feelings as hurt, broken, sad and angry.
“Life is a struggle. The pain never goes away,” said the sister.
The father feels Canada’s justice system is “broken.”
The Krafts encourage people to write their elected officials about their concerns with the nation’s justice system.
The next court date, March 20, is to set a date for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
The Krafts aren’t expecting the preliminary hearing to be held before fall, and say the whole process has been slow and agonizing.
“Trying to heal — not really heal — but coping with the fact that Jeff is gone is hard, because it’s constantly brought back up with every court date,” said the sister.
The family says it will continue to seek justice for Kraft. They had T-shirts made with a photo of the victim and the words “Justice for Jeff,” which they wear at each court date.