Crown Will Not Challenge Outings for Mentally Ill Man Who Killed His 3 Kids

By Burgmann, Tamsyn | The Canadian Press, June 12, 2015 | Go to article overview

Crown Will Not Challenge Outings for Mentally Ill Man Who Killed His 3 Kids


Burgmann, Tamsyn, The Canadian Press


Outings stand for ill man who killed kids: Crown

--

VANCOUVER - The Crown will not block a mentally ill British Columbia man who killed his three children from escorted outings into the community, but it has left the door open for obtaining an order that could lock him up indefinitely.

The province's Criminal Justice Branch said Friday it would not appeal a decision by the B.C. Review Board granting Allan Schoenborn short supervised excursions.

Three senior lawyers concluded there was no sufficient legal basis for challenging the independent tribunal -- a finding that infuriated the victims' family and drew acceptance, but displeasure, from B.C.'s justice minister.

"None of us are terribly happy about this," Suzanne Anton told reporters, though adding she does support the decision.

"The question on appeal is a different question -- whether there's a legal basis for an appeal -- and the branch has concluded there is not."

But a statement by the justice branch also highlighted the possibility it may still launch a bid in B.C. Supreme Court for a "high-risk accused" designation for Schoenborn, which if successful would give the review board several new powers.

For example, the label would mean the board could wait for three years between hearings reviewing his case, or even hold him at the psychiatric hospital with no plan for release.

Those powers were created by the Conservative government with Bill C-14, which took effect last July. The legislation has been repeatedly held up by the family as an avenue for their version of justice over the course of Schoenborn's protracted hearing this year.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge found Schoenborn was suffering psychosis when he stabbed his 10-year-old daughter and smothered his two sons, who were eight and five, in their Merritt, B. …

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