Court loosens rules for killer

MEDICINE HAT — A southern Alberta teen convicted of fatally stabbing her parents and younger brother will eventually be given more freedom to help her reintegrate into society.

MEDICINE HAT — A southern Alberta teen convicted of fatally stabbing her parents and younger brother will eventually be given more freedom to help her reintegrate into society.

A judge in Medicine Hat agreed Monday to loosen the terms of the girl’s custody so that her supervisors at an Edmonton psychiatric hospital can escort her on visits to places such as banks and malls.

The girl, who can’t be identified, appeared in court in via closed circuit television and thanked the judge when asked if she had anything to say.

The girl’s treatment team will have to receive approval from the Solicitor General’s Department before any such trips, which are still 12 to 18 months down the road.

The girl, now 16, was 12 when her family was slain in 2006, has been restricted to a secure building at Alberta Hospital Edmonton.

Crown prosecutor Ramona Robins did not oppose open custody, but asked Justice Scott Brooker to clarify if all of the dozen goals for rehabilitation set out in his original sentencing should be satisfied before granting a change.

She was concerned about the 11th goal, which is to get the girl to understand the process that led up to the murders and the impact of her crime.

“When I review the (girl’s psychiatric) report, I don’t see that goal being achieved as well as perhaps other ones have,” said Robins.

Dr. Vinesh Gupta, the psychiatrist in charge of the girl’s treatment, says the teen may never understand why she killed her parents and brother and the consequences.

“In some ways we feel that we will not be able to achieve that goal, specifically, in its entirety,” Gupta told the court.

“The expectation is not that she will fully achieve that before she is discharged but we will continue to work on it.”

Gupta added the teen has made significant improvements in that area over the last six months.

She has met with family members in the last few months, which has also been beneficial, Gupta told court.

Details of those meetings are contained in the psychiatric report that has not been released to the public.

The judge agreed to Robins’ request to increase the teen’s sentence reviews to every six months from once a year.

Outside court, Katherin Beyak told reporters open custody will allow her client to gradually integrate back into society.

When asked if the girl still poses a threat to the community, Beyak said the risk is manageable.

“That is why (the treatment team) has suggested the open custody setting.”

Robins said she is still troubled by the girl’s lack of recognition of her role in the murders.

Jeremy Steinke, 25, the girl’s former boyfriend, was convicted of first-degree murder for his part in the killings and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole until April 2013.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read