Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Youngest Mass Murderer Prepares for 'Real Life in the Real World'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Youngest Mass Murderer Prepares for 'Real Life in the Real World'

Article excerpt

Woman who killed family at 12 prepares for freedom


MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - A woman who was 12 when she helped murder her family because they disapproved of her relationship with an older man is preparing to live a "real life in the real world" when her sentence ends next spring.

The woman, who is now 21 but can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was convicted along with her then boyfriend of killing her mother, father and eight-year-old brother in the family's Medicine Hat home in April 2006.

Her 10-year youth sentence expires May 7, 2016, and she continued on her path toward freedom Thursday when a judge removed her weekday curfew. Her curfew on weekends was removed at an earlier court date.

"For the last portion of her sentence she'll be living as a normal individual in society so we'll be able to tell and see that this sentence has done what it was supposed to do, which is to reintegrate her and prepare her to live a real life in the real world," her lawyer Katherin Beyak said outside court.

"I think everyone's looking forward to the end of the sentence."

Court heard how the young woman, who appeared via video link from Calgary, has progressed in her rehabilitation to the point where she is at extremely low risk to reoffend.

"It's another positive report. In fact, all the reports I've received since I imposed this sentence a number of years ago were positive," said Justice Scott Brooker. "The risk level, according to the reports, remains low and, in fact, her score measures at the lower end of the lowest level."

She is living on her own in Calgary and has been enrolled in university.

Her sentence was the maximum for young offenders between 12 and 14 and included four years in a psychiatric institution and 4 1/2 years under conditional supervision in the community.

Her former boyfriend, Jeremy Steinke, who was 23 at the time of the killings, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years. …

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