Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Man Not Criminally Responsible in Stabbing Rampage; Families 'Broken'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Man Not Criminally Responsible in Stabbing Rampage; Families 'Broken'

Article excerpt

"No peace' for families of 5 killed by Calgary man

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CALGARY - A Calgary man has been found not criminally responsible for stabbing five young people to death at a house party two years ago in a ruling that gives family members of the victims little closure.

Justice Eric Macklin of Court of Queen's Bench delivered the verdict Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Matthew de Grood.

Macklin said he accepted findings from two psychiatrists and a psychologist who testified that de Grood was psychotic at the time of the killings.

"I find on a balance of probabilities that at the time he caused their deaths, Matthew de Grood was suffering from a mental disorder that rendered him incapable of appreciating or knowing that his actions were wrong," Macklin said.

The finding means de Grood will be kept in a secure psychiatric facility pending assessment by the Alberta Review Board. A hearing is to take place in 90 days.

Prosecutor Neil Wiberg said the Crown is considering seeking a high-risk designation for de Grood.

"This is the most serious crime anyone can commit. It's five counts of first-degree murder," Wiberg told reporters.

He added a high-risk designation would also be appropriate because de Grood was sober at the time and the psychosis came on rapidly.

A high-risk a designation would mean the accused would be held in hospital and not released until a court revoked that status. As well, it could entail three years instead of one year between reviews and the denial of unescorted passes into the community.

The 24-year-old son of a police officer admits he killed five people at a Calgary house party on April 15, 2014.

The trial heard de Grood became withdrawn about a month before the attack and started posting about the end of the world, religion, vampires and Darth Vader on Facebook.

De Grood reported hearing voices telling him to kill before he grabbed a knife from a kitchen in the northwest Calgary home and stabbed the victims.

Kaitlin Perras, 23; Lawrence Hong, 27; Josh Hunter, 23; Zackariah Rathwell, 21; and Jordan Segura, 22, were killed.

The victim's families said the not criminally responsible ruling will be a recurring nightmare for them. …

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