EDMONTON — Family members of Matthew de Grood’s victims are planning to push for changes to the not criminally responsible process after the crown supported recommendations to reintegrate de Grood back into the community.
About three dozen people were on hand for his hearing before the Alberta Review Board.
Five people were fatally stabbed by de Grood at an end of school year party in 2014 in the northwest Calgary community of Brentwood.
He was found not criminally responsible in the deaths and placed into a psychiatric facility rather than a prison.
At the time of the killings, he was suffering a psychotic break.
De Grood could eventually be placed in a halfway house as a result of the hearing.
The hearing began with Matthew de Grood’s attorney questioning the treating psychiatrist who said De Grood has been taking online courses and recreational programs.
He has also been allowed unsupervised access on hospital grounds but remains supervised off-site.
His attorney mainly focused on when de Grood would be ready for unsupervised travel off-site, for schooling or other relevant treatment programs.
According to his psychiatrist, de Grood’s schizophrenia is in full remission.
While he deemed him a low risk to the public, when he was asked if de Grood were to re-offend, the psychiatrist acknowledged it would likely be of a “high severity.”
de Grood was asked directly by a board member on his thoughts for a reintegration plan.
He said he looks forward to following recommendations, believes in his progression and proving that he can move forward.
Several family members of de Grood’s victims delivered impact statements.
Josh Hunter’s mother Kelly expressed her concern with the review process suggesting it shows a lack of compassion for the family’s pain and that no one is being held responsible for Josh’s death.
Hunter added that she will never forgive de Grood for killing her son and says the focus here is on helping de Grood move forward, but that her son will never have that chance.
Kaiti Perras’ mother Shannon Miller says the death has changed her immeasurably. She isn’t ready to move on, even though she wants to run away from the pain, the anger and the truth.
Last fall, de Grood was moved to a psychiatric hospital in Edmonton and was granted unsupervised ground privileges and supervised day passes.
That move angered family members of the five killed.
“The Alberta Review Board, who is supposed to be impartial, unbiased and inquisitorial, was insensitive and disrespectful to the victims,” said Gregg Perras, father of Kaiti Perras.
With files from The Canadian Press and Courtney Theriault.