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Review board support for Schoenborn's move doesn't mean he'll go to Manitoba
The B.C. Review Board said it will support child killer Allan Schoenborn's request to be transferred to a psychiatric facility in Manitoba, saying the move will help with his "reintegration into society."
During a detention review hearing Friday morning, Schoenborn, who has been housed at the Forensic Psychiatric Institution in Port Coquitlam since 2008 after being found not criminally responsible for murdering his three children, said he missed his mother and wanted to be closer to his family.
"My family is in Winnipeg," a clean-shaven Schoenborn said during the hearing. "I was born in Winnipeg. It's the right place to be."
Neil MacKenzie, spokesperson for the Crown, said the review board's support does not necessarily mean that a transfer will be granted. The decision would be governed by language in the Criminal Code regarding interprovincial transfers and would ultimately have to be decided by the attorneys general in both provinces.
"Schoenborn continues to present a risk to the community and he continues to be detained in custody and receives treatment in the facility," he said. "Nobody is suggesting at this point that a transfer is anything that is necessarily going to happen. This is just the first step in the process."
But the Crown did not oppose the request for a transfer. MacKenzie said that based on the risk assessment report and information provided by Schoenborn's treatment team, there could be some benefit to having him housed in another province.
"Because of some of the connections he has to the province of Manitoba, in the long term, it may assist with his reintegration into the community," he said.
But transferring Schoenborn to another facility outside of B.C. would likely be opposed by the family of the three young victims.
Stacy Galt — cousin of Schoenborn's ex-wife, Darcie Clarke, the mother of the three murdered children — said there are cousins and grandchildren who reside in Winnipeg who live in fear of Schoenborn.
"I was surprised that they chose that particular place," Galt said. "We have family there as well. Darcie has family there. That is the problem we are facing now."
In April 2008, Schoenborn killed his three kids — 10-year-old Kaitlynne, eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon — in Clarke's home in Merritt. Two years later, he admitted to the killings but pleaded not guilty; he was later found not criminally responsible for the crimes.
At his first review hearing in April 2011, Schoenborn asked to be let out of Colony Farm on day passes so he could go out for coffee and use local recreational facilities. The B.C. Review Board granted the request but Schoenborn eventually withdrew his application after widespread public outrage. The Review Board said at the time it was unaware that Clarke was living with family in Coquitlam.
Legislation introduced earlier this month by the federal government proposes reforms that would indefinitely lock up dangerous mentally ill offenders who have been found not criminally responsible of their crimes and would allow a judge to grant review hearings only every three years instead of annually.