CALGARY — Matthew de Grood will remain in custody at Alberta Hospital but should be allowed to take unsupervised visits to the Edmonton area and go on supervised camping trips and other recreational outings at the discretion of his treatment team, the Alberta Review Board has ruled.
De Grood was found not criminally responsible for killing five people at a 2014 house party while suffering from schizophrenic delusions.
He killed Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Jordan Segura, 22, Kaitlin Perras, 23, Josh Hunter, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27.
A trial heard that the now 28-year-old believed that the devil was talking to him and that a war was about to begin, signalling the end of the world, when he arrived at the party, which was being held to mark the end of the school year at University of Calgary.
De Grood was transferred from a secure psychiatric hospital in Calgary to Alberta Hospital in Edmonton last year.
The review board ruling, dated Sept. 17, says de Grood must keep the peace, not possess or own weapons, maintain good mental health and abstain from non-prescription drugs and alcohol, including cannabis.
It also says, at the discretion of his treatment team, that de Grood be allowed “from time to time,” passes to the City of Edmonton and area while supervised by a staff member or responsible adult, as well as staff supervised camping trips, picnics and other recreational outings in Alberta, unsupervised passes to the City of Edmonton and overnight passes to the City of Edmonton for the purpose of transitioning to a group home.
Those conditions can also be rescinded at any time.
The report says de Grood “is in the early stages of treatment and development of risk management strategies.”
But it also states he “remains a significant risk to the safety of the public,” and “the risk is that a serious violent act is likely to occur if de Grood relapses at the level at or near the degree of psychotic illness present” when he committed the killings.
Kaitlin Perras' father Gregg provided a statement to CTV News following the disposition saying…
The Review Board has accepted all of the treatment team’s recommendations, including an addition that was discussed in the pre-review meeting where I assume De Grood’s lawyer requested overnight passes for 1 week in Edmonton for purpose of transitioning to a group home.
After being found NCR only 3 years ago he has been granted unsupervised passes to Edmonton, passes for 3 days and two nights with his parents in Edmonton and travel in Alberta with his parents for a week!
This could and will likely lead to a supervised group home this year after only 3 years of being found NCR for killing five people.
All of these unsupervised privileges are at least 2 years ahead of Vince Li’s trajectory to unsupervised access and an absolute discharge in 8 years and he killed one person! It is mindboggling and the general public needs to be made aware of this unsupervised access to the community this year.
We must help create awareness amongst the public for the problems with the NCR reintegration process and continue to push for a law amendment where NCR murderers at a minimum never receive an absolute discharge where no responsible medical practitioners monitor their medicine intake.
The Board re-emphasized the distinct threat De Grood presents to the public and noted his loss of insight to renewed symptoms of his psychosis when his oral medication was stopped for a time this spring but still sided with unsupervised access to the community and week long travel in Alberta.
We don’t see the logic in these statements of substantial threat with unsupervised access working together as public safety is paramount under the law.