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Families of victims make plea against reintegration in de Grood case

By Jason Herring, September 14 2018 —

On Sept. 7, the families of the five students killed by Matthew de Grood in April 2015 told a review board through a prepared statement that they believe he should never be reintegrated into society.

“We, the five families of Lawrence Hong, Joshua Hunter, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell and Jordan Segura, remain steadfast in our position that Matthew de Grood should be institutionalized indefinitely and urge the Alberta Review Board to recognize the risk of him being released into society in any capacity, is far too great,” read Gregg Perras, the father of Kaitlin, a Mount Royal University student.

In May 2016, de Grood was found not criminally responsible (NCR) for the stabbings, as Eric Macklin, the judge presiding over the case, ruled de Grood was having a psychotic episode at the time of the murders. Since then, he has been treated in a psychiatric facility.

Last Friday’s hearing was the third annual review board hearing for de Grood. Doctors treating de Grood testified about his mental health treatment, saying that he was committed to his treatment and that reintegration will eventually be possible. The medical team recommended the review board allow de Grood more freedoms, such a taking supervised trips to malls near the psychiatric facility.

The annual review meetings are retraumatizing for the victims’ families, according to the families’ prepared statement, which says the idea of de Grood’s reintegration into the community is “beyond comprehension.”

Following the tragedy, the University of Calgary created three scholarships for undergraduate students in memory of the victims — The Lawrence Hong Scholarship in Urban Studies, the Joshua Hunter Scholarship in Business and the Jordan Segura Scholarship in Religious Studies. Hong, Hunter and Segura were all students at the U of C.

The review board will make its decision regarding next steps for de Grood’s rehabilitation in the upcoming weeks.  

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