One life sentence deserves another: Jessie Simpson's mom on attacker's release to halfway house | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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One life sentence deserves another: Jessie Simpson's mom on attacker's release to halfway house

Jessie Simpson after the June 2016 attack.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

The mother of a Kamloops man who was severely beaten with a baseball bat in 2016, leaving him permanently disabled, believes one life sentence deserves another.

Kristopher Teichrieb, who is serving a seven-year sentence for the aggravated assault, was this past April released from prison into a halfway house upon his statutory release.

On June 19, 2016, Teichrieb beat a then 18-year-old Jessie Simpson into a coma when the young Savona man became separated from a group of friends while out celebrating the end of the school year. Simpson wandered onto Teichrieb's property in Brocklehurst in the early-morning hours.

The attack left Simpson with life-altering permanent brain injuries and he spent 10 months in a coma.

Jessie’s mother, Sue Simpson, said that while her son’s attacker received a seven-year sentence and was released into a halfway house in Vancouver this past April, Jessie must live forever with a catastrophic brain injury and will spend his life in a nursing home, with constant care required.

READ MORE: Call renewed for Christmas cards for Kamloops’s Jesse Simpson

Sue said she doesn’t believe Teichrieb is sorry for what he did to her son.

“I sat in court with him and looked at his face and there was not one tear in his eye,” she said. “He’s not sorry for what he’s done.”

Sue also said she doesn’t believe Teichrieb has been rehabilitated after five years of his sentence.

“There’s no way,” she said.

Parole Board of Canada documents that saw Teichrieb denied parole in October of 2020 state he hadn’t fully “accepted responsibility” for his role in the attack that left Simpson injured.

“You accept some responsibility for your offending, but you are more concerned with the consequences to yourself rather than to the victim,” the document reads. According to the documents, Teichrieb had not been an ideal inmate behind bars, described as being “entitled” and “high-maintenance” at times.

Sue said she also feels Teichrieb is a risk to reoffend, noting the extent of his temper given what he was capable of doing to her son.

Those Parole Board of Canada documents state Teichrieb is considered to be in a cohort of offenders of whom four out of five are not expected to commit an indictable offence post release. His Criminal Risk Index score suggests he’s in a cohort of male offenders of whom six per cent offend within three years of release. Correctional Services Canada (CSC) has assessed his public safety risk as moderate.

Teichrieb, 44, became eligible for statutory release in March 2021, once two-thirds of his sentence had been served (his sentence includes credit for time served between his arrest and his trial, with each day spent in pre-trial custody equivalent to 1.5 days toward his eventual sentence).

As part of his statutory release, Teichrieb is on conditions that include refraining from drug use other than prescribed medications, following a treatment plan for violence as arranged by his parole officer, having no contact with Simpson or his family and not associating with people engaged in criminal activity.

Those October 2020 documents also state Teichrieb’s plans for statutory release included residing at a community residential facility (halfway house) in the Lower Mainland, to which he had already been accepted, before moving to a community-based residential facility in the Central Interior. That move, the documents state, is contingent on Teichrieb first demonstrating three months of stability in the Lower Mainland.

Based on a list of such facilities on the Correctional Service of Canada website, Central Interior halfway houses would be located in either Prince George, Kamloops or Kelowna.

“Eventually he will be out free and Jessie, he’s in a wheelchair for the rest of his life,” Sue said.

She described learning Teichrieb is residing in a halfway house as “heartbreaking” for her and her family.

“Feels like Jessie just didn’t get any justice,” she said.

In 2016, Teichrieb’s Brocklehurst neighbours called 911 to report the attack, the bulk of which took place in the middle of the street after Simpson attempted to flee. Neighbours told police they could hear Simpson crying and saw him covered in blood. When police arrived on scene minutes later, they found Teichrieb standing over a bloodied, motionless Simpson, saying, “I got him.”

In the weeks leading up to the attack, Teichrieb had been threatening vigilante action after calling police a number of times to report criminal behaviour near his home. Police had cautioned Teichrieb against taking matters into his own hands.

Sue said the baseball bat attack left a dent so large in her son’s head she can place her hand within it.

Statutory release is granted to federal prisoners who are denied parole upon completing two-thirds of their sentences. It is a release by law and is not a decision made by the Parole Board of Canada.

“If I had it my way he would be in jail for life for what he did to my son,” Sue said. “I can’t forgive someone who hurt my son that way.”

Simpson in stable condition, but lives with pain

Today, Simpson is 24 and living at The Hamlets at Westysde assisted-living facility.

Sue said her son has nearly died on multiple occasions since the attack.

“Jessie’s fought so hard to be with us,” she said, noting her son has had strokes, seizures, 11 surgeries to date, pneumonia and infections, pulling through them all.

Sue said Jessie still has nightmares about the night he was attacked.

She said her son is doing well, but tells her on a daily basis he has pain and sometimes she goes days without sleep.

However, this is the first time in five years that Jessie hasn’t had to be admitted to hospital within a two-month span, which has allowed Sue to relax a bit. She said when she visits her son, he wraps his arms around her and tells her he loves her.

“He’s so loving and so kind” she said, noting he has had to learn again how to feed himself, brush his teeth and talk.

“He understands every word I say to him, which is absolutely a miracle,” Sue said.

She sued Teichrieb for civil liability and won last year, being awarded nearly $7 million in damages. To date Sue has not received a penny.

Lawyers representing Simpson have accused Teichrieb of hiding assets after the attack in anticipation of a lawsuit. Teichrieb is alleged to have sold his $587,000 Clifford Avenue house to his parents for $1 six months after the assault. That is being dealt with in a separate court proceeding.

Sue did not wish to comment on the status of that case until next spring.

Christmas cards welcomed to support for Jessie, with hopeful return home in March

Come March, Sue, who lives in Savona, about a half-hour west of Kamloops, hopes to be able to bring her son back to his childhood home on weekends.

She has spent about $60,000 — mostly through donations — to retrofit the abode to meet her son’s needs, adding a ramp, a wider door, a new deck and new flooring to accommodate his wheelchair,

“His room is ready,” Sue said, noting she feels being home in a place familiar to him will be a healing experience for Jessie.

The return was delayed twice this year — first over the summer, when the house was under evacuation alert due to wildfire threat, and again in the fall during a COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown at The Hamlets.

Sue said she is waiting until March, when winter road conditions have eased, before bringing her son back home.

She said she has been touched by donations and well wishes received from people in support of her son.

For the second year in a row, Sue is collecting Christmas cards for Jessie, who she said enjoyed receiving them last year.

Those who wishes to send Jessie a card can do so by mailing it to PO Box 233 Savona, B.C. VOK2JO.

There is also a GoFundMe page set up for Jessie and Sue, and as of Friday “Justice For Jessie” stickers will be sold to raise funds to assist with his care.

— This story was originally published by Kamloops This Week.

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