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Review board hearing for Matthew de Grood concludes

By Scott Strasser, July 14 2016 —

The review board hearing for a former University of Calgary student who stabbed five people to death at a house party in April 2014 took place earlier this week.

The two-day hearing was meant to determine how often Matthew de Grood will face future review. At the hearing’s conclusion, the review board accepted a recommendation that de Grood remain in a secure medical facility and have his case reviewed again one year from now.

A week-long trial in May found de Grood to be not criminally responsible for the deaths of Jordan Segura, Kaitlin Perras, Lawrence Hong, Zackariah Rathwell and Joshua Hunter due to reasons of a mental disorder.

De Grood suffered a psychotic episode on April 15 2014, the night the killings occurred. He has been held at a secure medical facility in southern Alberta since then.

Throughout the hearing, the review board heard impact statements from the victims’ family members and submissions from de Grood’s psychiatric treatment team.

“How do you really quantify the loss of an entire life, of five lives?” said Perras’ father Greg. “That is heart-wrenching for me and extremely unfair to Kaiti, to Josh, to Zack, Lawrence and Jordan.”

The review board is tasked with monitoring de Grood’s treatment progress and determining if or when he is fit to be reintegrated into society. The board includes Alberta provincial court Judge Allan Lefever, two psychiatrists, a member of the legal community and a lay-person.

Following the trial in May, family members of the victims pushed for a high-risk NCR designation for de Grood, meaning he would face review by the board every three years.

All of the victims were post-secondary students. Hong, Hunter and Segura attended the U of C, while Perras and Rathwell studied at Mount Royal University and ACAD, respectively.

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