Matthew de Grood’s lawyer criticizes comments made by MP Stephanie Kusie about review process

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“The victims’ families are very concerned that he will be granted further freedoms despite killing their five children only six years ago,” said Kusie, who in July announced she would be bringing a motion to a parliamentary committee to examine review board rulings.

Kusie acknowledged not criminally responsible findings are “an invaluable component of our justice system. However, public safety must be the principal concern of provincial review boards when making decisions on supervised, or unsupervised releases.

“This is especially important for violent offenders like Matthew de Grood.”

Fay was quick to point out the inaccuracy of the Calgary Midnapore MP’s comment in calling his client a violent offender.

“That’s a very unfortunate use of language. It’s not correct under the law. Matthew de Grood is not considered an offender in that he has not committed any criminal offences according to the law,” the lawyer said.

“It strikes me as inappropriate with the hearing coming up on Sept. 8,” Fay said.

“In my opinion it appears to be political grandstanding.”

De Grood was found not criminally responsible in 2016, in connection with the April 15, 2014 stabbing deaths of Jordan Segura, Kaitlin Perras, Lawrence Hong, Zackariah Rathwell and Joshua Hunter at an end-of-school-term party.

Killed in the Brentwood attack (from left to right) were Zackariah Rathwell, 21; Jordan Segura, 22; Kaitlin Perras, 23; Josh Hunter, 23; and Lawrence Hong, 27. Photo by Postmedia Archives

Psychiatrists at his trial testified de Grood was in the throes of a psychotic breakdown at the time.

Fay said Kusie’s apparent attempt to criminalize his client’s behaviour is akin to someone saying an individual who inadvertently infects another person with COVID-19 who subsequently dies is guilty of murder.

For her part, Kusie said she will continue to fight in the name of the Brentwood Five.

“I will not dismiss the safety of Canadians and I will continue to advocate for the lives of five young people gone too soon.”

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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