Calgary mass murderer declared ‘not criminally responsible’

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From left: Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Lawrence Hong, 27, Kaitlin Perras, 23, Jordan Segura, 22, and Joshua Hunter, 23.

Mathew De Grood stabbed five youngsters to death at party

The perpetrator of one of the most terrible mass killings in Calgary, Matthew de Grood, was on Wednedsay decalred NCR – not criminally responsible for his actions, by Justice Eric Macklin.

De Grood, the son of a police offer, stabbed five youngsters to death at an off-campus party meant to celebrate the end of the university term on April 15th, 2014. Those killed were 21-year-old Zackariah Rathwell, 22-year-old Jordan Segura, 23-year-old Josh Hunter, 23-year-old Kaitlin Perras, and 27-year-old Lawrence Hong. Three were found dead at the scene and two others died in hospital.

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There was total silence in the courtroom when the judge made the declaration and the families of the five young victims said they would “never fully heal.” “The finding of NCR will be a recurring nightmare for our families,” said Miles Hong, the brother of Lawrence Hong, who was one of the those killed.

Court heard that de Grood had talked about “crazy theories”, that his “dominating thought was the world was ending at midnight”, and that he told several people at the party that he was getting ready for the apocalypse and waiting for the moon to turn red. He said he feared vampires and ate garlic at the party.

With an NCR decision, de Grood will now be sent to a psychiatric facility for treatment rather than a prison, with reviews conducted frequently by a board which includes two judges, psychiatrists and community members. De Grood could also be labelled with the high-risk NCR designation, which would mean longer periods between reviews and harsher restrictions on his movements.

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Justice Macklin deemed Matthew de Grood to be NCR on all five counts of first-degree murder.

Defence lawyer Allan Fay read aloud a statement from De Grood. “I am sorry from the bottom of my heart…. I will take responsibility for my illness,” Fay said, reading from de Grood’s statement, as family members of the deceased openly wept in the gallery.

De Grood’s statement added he recognized the “immense suffering” his actions have caused and to tell the families they didn’t deserve the pain and loss they have endured.

Justic Macklin commended the families for the courage, dignity and grace in the face of unspeakable grief and pain, and honoured their memories of their lost loved ones.

Lawyers for both the Crown and defence agreed that de Grood was in a psychotic state and unable to distinguish between right and wrong at the time of the killings. – CINEWS

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