The father of a man suspected of killing three people in northern British Columbia has watched part of a video that has been described as his son's “last will and testament.”
Alan Schmegelsky's lawyer, Sarah Leamon, says she and her client reached an agreement with the RCMP and were able to watch a 30-second clip of the video on Thursday.
Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, were found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the wilderness of northern Manitoba after a national manhunt for the pair.
Leamon says a non-disclosure agreement prevents her from speaking about what the video shows, but RCMP have said it depicts what Bryer Schmegelsky wanted to be done with his body after he died.
She says Alan Schmegelsky became “extremely emotional” and “very upset” while watching the clip and it has been a very difficult time for him.
Leamon says it's unfortunate that he had to take the step of getting a lawyer in order to see a video that should have been shown to him in the first place.
“That part of it is regretful, but I am pleased to see that the RCMP was willing to negotiate out this agreement, which in my view properly protects the integrity of the ongoing investigation while also acknowledging my client's parental rights as a father,” she said.
In the email exchange between Leamon and the RCMP obtained by The Canadian Press last month, an officer writes that information about Bryer's wishes was passed on to his mother, who is next of kin.
“At this time, we will not be providing access to the video for Alan,” the officer wrote in the email. The message doesn't say why, but Leamon said the RCMP told her it's because the investigation is ongoing.
Alan Schmegelsky declined comment on Thursday due to the non-disclosure agreement he signed with the RCMP, saying only, “There are no easy days.”
The RCMP declined comment, saying it would not be discussing its private communications with family.
The father is estranged from his son's mother. Leamon says she believes the mother watched the same 30-second clip.
The lawyer adds that she doesn't know the length of the full video and her client was not allowed to have a copy of the clip or record it because the RCMP is maintaining exclusive conduct of it.
Schmegelsky and McLeod are suspected of killing a young tourist couple - American Chynna Deese and Australian Lucas Fowler - and botany lecturer Leonard Dyck in northern B.C. in July.
The murders sparked a search for the two fugitives that ended when they were found dead in northern Manitoba.