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Killer Matthew de Grood asks psychological well being assessment board for 'absolute' discharge from system

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Matthew de Grood is as soon as once more asking Alberta’s psychological well being assessment board to launch him from its supervision, arguing he not poses a major risk to the general public.

The Alberta Overview Board held its annual listening to on de Grood’s case Thursday, 9 years after he fatally stabbed 5 individuals throughout a psychotic episode at a College of Calgary home celebration.

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De Grood was finally discovered not criminally answerable for killing Lawrence Hong, Joshua Hunter, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell and Jordan Segura after a decide concluded his undiagnosed schizophrenia “rendered him incapable of appreciating or figuring out that his actions have been improper.”

After an preliminary stint at psychiatric hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton, de Grood was granted permission to reside at a gaggle house. He’s now asking the provincially appointed assessment board for an “absolute” discharge, which might free him from its jurisdiction fully.  

The Crown is against the transfer, arguing de Grood nonetheless poses a major risk to the general public if left unsupervised.

A lot of Thursday’s listening to centered on the testimony of Oghogho Manuwa, a psychiatrist who was beforehand a part of de Grood’s therapy workforce.

Manuwa mentioned the therapy workforce opposes an absolute discharge at the moment, which is one among a number of components the board should take into account. Manuwa mentioned that whereas actuarial instruments counsel de Grood is a low threat to reoffend, the danger of great violence if he does relapse is excessive.

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Manuwa worries de Grood will obtain a decrease stage of care within the civil psychological well being system, with fewer safeguards to make sure he takes his remedy. He mentioned the Psychological Well being Act and different authorized instruments would seemingly be inadequate to guard the general public if he does relapse.

De Grood is nonetheless steady and making progress, he mentioned, together with making unsupervised journeys on two-week passes to go to his mom and father, with whom he hopes to dwell upon launch.

Throughout a short phase by which de Grood was allowed to talk, he informed the board he has a relapse prevention plan and has memorized his “early warning indicators.” He informed the board he retains a constant sleep schedule, and that he’s “tremendous grateful” to be on a drugs dose “that’s efficient for me.”


A very contentious a part of Manuwa’s testimony was his suggestion that de Grood is “superficial” with the therapy workforce. He described his former affected person as well mannered and agreeable, however mentioned there look like belief points that make it arduous to assess “his interior world” or perceive what he’s prone to do “ought to he be left to his personal gadgets.”

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Defence lawyer Jacqueline Petrie objected when Crown lawyer Wendy Ekert requested Manuwa whether or not he believes de Grood could be “open and sincere” with a psychiatrist if he develops signs locally.

Arguing the query was main and speculative, Petrie mentioned earlier therapy groups have mentioned her shopper is open and trusting and that he merely “doesn’t have nearly as good a rapport with Dr. Manuwa.”

de grood victims
Killed in Matthew de Grood’s 2014 assault have been Zackariah Rathwell, 21, left, Jordan Segura, 22, Kaitlin Perras, 23, Josh Hunter, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27. Photograph by Postmedia

“That’s not proof of (de Grood being a) vital risk,” Petrie argued.  

Petrie additionally bridled when Ekert requested about “battle” between de Grood’s mother and father and the therapy workforce. Board members heard Susan de Grood and Douglas de Grood have tried to appropriate what they see as “factual inaccuracies” within the therapy workforce’s experiences, however Petrie vigorously objected that that amounted to battle.

“The Crown is greedy and dragging this listening to out on irrelevant issues,” she mentioned.  

‘Some stage of monitoring’

Thursday’s listening to was de Grood’s first since launching a high-profile enchantment arguing the Alberta authorities engaged in “political interference” in his case. He argued earlier UCP justice minister Doug Schweitzer’s feedback on the case — in addition to his subsequent substitute of the assessment board with members with conservative leanings — was proof he confronted “arbiters who have been recruited … for the categorical goal of guaranteeing he isn’t discharged or granted additional privileges.”

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That argument was rejected by the Alberta Court docket of Attraction. De Grood is now in search of permission to enchantment to the Supreme Court docket of Canada.

Barclay Hunter, Joshua Hunter’s father, mentioned de Grood’s appeals and makes an attempt to be discharged from care regardless of the suggestions of his therapy workforce are “an indicator” of how he may behave sooner or later.

Hunter mentioned that whereas he doesn’t consider de Grood ought to be institutionalized for the remainder of his life, he ought to all the time be topic to some type of supervision.

“Any individual that commits against the law like this, they’re NCR, however they’ve murdered an individual or extra individuals, they need to by no means be left on their very own with out some stage of monitoring.”

De Grood’s listening to was ongoing at press time.

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