Matthew de Grood granted additional freedoms ahead of potential transition to group home
CALGARY -- The Calgary man found not criminally responsible for the deaths of five people at a house party in 2014 may make unsupervised outings in Edmonton at the discretion of his medical team, and the families of his victims are outraged.
Matthew de Grood's successful appeal of the Alberta Review Board's September 2020 decision paves the way for the 29-year-old to receive passes to make both supervised and unsupervised trips within Edmonton with the approval of his treatment team.
De Grood's appeal was heard on April 1 and the decision was released Monday.
The privileges permissible to de Grood include:
- Supervised ground privileges;
- Passes for supervised trips within the Edmonton area;
- Participating in staff supervised camping trips, picnics and recreational outings in Alberta;
- Unsupervised ground privileges;
- Unsupervised trips within the Edmonton area; and
- Overnight passes for up to a week (for the purpose of transitioning to a group home).
At the discretion of the zone section chief of forensic services at Alberta Health Edmonton, de Grood's privileges may be increased to include:
- Passes of up to three days and two nights within Edmonton under the supervision of a responsible adult;
- Outings within Alberta for up to a week under the supervision of a responsible Alberta (supervision not necessarily required for travel to and from Edmonton); and
- Moving to a group home.
De Grood was found not criminally responsible of first-degree murder charges in May 2016 in connection with the April 2014 deaths of Zackariah Rathwell, Jordan Segura, Kaitlin Parras, Josh Hunter and Lawrence Hong due to a mental disorder.
Greg Parras, whose daughter Kaitlin was killed by de Grood, issued the following statement to CTV News after learning of the outcome of the appeal.
"I am very disappointed that the Appeals Court of Alberta has reinstated the three privileges that an independent review board of Alberta determined were not in keeping with the risk that Matthew de Grood poses to the public back in September 2020," said Parras. "It is unfathomable to me that a mentally ill person who was found NCR (not criminally responsible) only five years ago would be allowed to go on vacation and that the travel to and from could be unsupervised.
"Also, his own doctor stated that most group home staff are not trained to spot issues that could arise from an individual with his problems and yet the potential for group home living has also been put back on the table.
"Last September it appeared for the first time that the ARB (Alberta Review Board) took a more logical approach to the evidence presented. However, this decision by an independent tribunal was criticized by not only the defense, but by the Crown (who is supposed to protect the safety of the public) and now the Court of Appeals.
"As always, the victims are forgotten and left unprotected."