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Family opposes outings from psychiatric hospital for B.C. man who killed 3 kids

Image Credit: CP/Handout
February 26, 2015 - 11:38 AM

COQUITLAM, B.C. - A panel considering whether a father who murdered his three children should be granted outings from a psychiatric hospital has heard the B.C. man wants to take a rehabilitation course in cooking bacon.

A caseworker for Allan Schoenborn has told the B.C. Review Board that the man is making progress by considering the very specific course after refusing most programs.

Doctors at a facility in Coquitlam are advocating for Schoenborn's supervised release nearly seven years after he stabbed and smothered his children in their Merritt, B.C., home.

But a spokesman for Darcie Clark, the children's mother, says the family wants Schoenborn to be labelled high risk so he won't be permitted to leave the hospital grounds.

A Crown lawyer at the hearing opposed Schoenborn's release, listing 11 instances of verbal or physical confrontations over the past year that she says demonstrate anger issues that pose a threat to the public.

Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder after stabbing and smothering 10-year-old Kaitlynne, eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon.

Earlier in the hearing on Thursday, Clark's cousin became upset and walked out, prompting a break in proceedings.

Speaking for the family, Dave Teixeira said Stacy Galt's outburst was triggered after the panel refused to allow Crown lawyer Wendy Dawson to present more facts about Schoenborn's history.

"What we've been saying all along is, this review board likes to work in silence from their ivory tower and not allow the public to see what's going on," he said in an interview. "What Stacy and Darcie have been phenomenal about doing is shining a bright light on the dysfunction of this B.C. Review Board."

The Justice Ministry is considering whether to seek a "high-risk accused" designation, which can only be applied by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

The label would enable the province to activate recent federal legislation that provides leeway for the board to extend the period between annual review hearings from one to three years.

The family of the three children is pushing for the designation, in spite of the psychiatrist's recommendation.

The panel has heard that Schoenborn spends most of his day cloistered in his room, sleeping. He has participated in anger-management therapy and accepted chaplain visits.

At least 40 instances of angry behaviour have been recorded for Schoenborn since he was institutionalized in April 2010, the panel has heard.

His psychiatrist has said that one of the biggest challenges has been getting Schoenborn to admit that anger played a role in the 2008 killings.

The hearing was adjourned early so the panel could consider whether to permit a new expert witness supplied by the Crown.

Teixeira said the expert would provide reasons for why Schoenborn is not fit for even limited release.

"The Crown is exposing holes in the doctors' arguments, and by bringing in an expert witness to counter, that's something that has not happened in the Schoenborn case, ever."

A date has yet to be set for the next hearing.



The Schoenborn children -- Cordon, 5, Kaitlynne, 10, and Max, 8 -- were killed by their father in April 2008.
The Schoenborn children -- Cordon, 5, Kaitlynne, 10, and Max, 8 -- were killed by their father in April 2008.
Image Credit: CP/Handout

COQUITLAM, B.C. - The family of three murdered Merritt children whose father stabbed and smothered them fears he will unleash harm in the community if he is granted limited release, despite his psychiatrist's assurances.

An annual B.C. Review Board hearing has resumed for Allan Schoenborn, who was found guilty but not criminally responsible for killing his children in their Merritt, B.C., home in April 2008.

Schoenborn's psychiatrist is recommending supervised outings into the community from the forensic hospital in Coquitlam, east of Vancouver, where he lives in custody.

But Stacy Galt, the cousin of the children's mother Darcie Clarke, says she believes Schoenborn's doctors are working hard to paint him as low-risk.

She says evidence has proven Schoenborn is violent and believes that if he is given escorted freedom he will escape and go after his children's mother.

The Crown is also arguing Schoenborn shouldn't be released, in part because he has refused to take any programming outside of anger-management therapy and chaplain visits while incarcerated.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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