Calgary mass killer found not criminally responsible a 'model patient:' hearing - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy
13.4°C

Calgary mass killer found not criminally responsible a 'model patient:' hearing

Matthew de Grood of Calgary is shown in an image from a Calgary 10k race in 2013. De Grood is appearing before a hearing from the Alberta Review Board which will determine if he should be granted more freedom.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
September 07, 2018 - 1:05 PM

CALGARY - A review board has heard a Calgary man found not criminally responsible for the stabbing deaths of five young people four years ago is making progress and has been a model patient.

Dr. Sergio Santana told the Alberta Review Board that Matthew de Grood is fully participating in his treatment and is trying to do the right thing.

His testimony prompted jeers from family members of the victims and a sharp rebuke from the board chair.

"He's very committed to his treatment," Santana told the hearing Friday. "He's not just there going through the motions. Matthew is a model patient and he's doing everything he can."

The treatment team believes de Grood, who is now 27, will need to stay in the secure hospital where he is being housed for quite some time, Santana added.

But he says it's possible that eventually de Grood could be released back into the community. De Grood's schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder is in full remission, he said.

"His progress is good. Eventually there will be a time when reintegration will be possible."

There is an increased risk of violence if de Grood slips back into a psychotic state, Santana said. De Grood now has unsupervised access to the internet but staff are watching for warning signs including insomnia and irritability.

De Grood attended the hearing with his lawyer but didn't look at those packed into the courtroom.

De Grood has developed insight into his illness, Santana said. He told treatment staff and his family that he was having flashbacks around the anniversary of the attacks.

The psychiatrist said last November that de Grood was upset when another doctor refused to treat him because he didn't want to draw unwanted attention to his clinic. De Grood realizes that the notoriety of his actions will be with him for a long time, Santana told the hearing.

"That was a reality check in a way."

The review board's annual hearing is to determine if de Grood should be granted more freedom.

De Grood was granted more privileges following the review in April 2017, including being allowed to go for supervised walks on hospital grounds as well as being allowed trips for medical appointments and treatment.

De Grood was suffering from a mental disorder when he attacked and killed Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Jordan Segura, 22, Josh Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27, in April 2014.

The judge ruled de Grood didn't understand his actions were wrong. He is on medication for schizophrenia and his symptoms had been in "full remission" since July 2014.

De Grood has said he heard what he thought was the voice of the devil before the attack and told a psychiatrist that he believed a war was about to begin, signalling the end of the world, when he arrived at the party.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile