B.C. man who killed his kids doesn’t fit high-risk test: lawyer

Rishi Gill said his client may be ‘a jerk,’ but the high-risk accused label doesn’t fit

A man found not responsible for killing his three children is being properly managed, his psychosis is under control and he doesn’t fit the definition of a high-risk accused, his lawyer said Thursday.

Rishi Gill told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge that Allan Schoenborn, 49, is being properly managed in a psychiatric facility and he doesn’t fit the definition of high risk, despite significant anger-management issues.

“There is nothing in the anger situation that takes him out of the regular stream. It’s the psychosis risk that puts him into the high-risk. And that psychosis is under control,” Gill said.

“What happens when his behaviour deteriorates, even under mental-health criteria? He is managed properly within that scheme.”

Schoenborn was convicted of first-degree murder in 2010 for killing his daughter and two sons, but found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder. His case gained notoriety again when former prime minister Stephen Harper singled him out when he introduced a law creating the high-risk designation for mentally ill offenders.

RELATED: Review underway for mentally ill Merritt man

The Crown has asked the court to designate Schoenborn a high-risk accused, which would bar him from receiving escorted outings into the community and extend the time between his review board hearings from one to three years.

Gill said his client may be “a jerk,” but the high-risk accused label doesn’t fit his client.

“He is just a disagreeable personality who has a lot of problems with conflict management. Nobody is saying otherwise,” Gill said. “What we’re saying is, does he get to that next level?”

Crown attorney Wendy Dawson told the court Thursday that Schoenborn appears resistant to change.

RELATED: Schoenborn too much of a threat for escorted outings, Crown says

“It truly appears an intractable condition.”

Gill dismissed the argument as a theory of the Crown, saying Schoenborn’s mental illness is what leads to his dangerous behaviour, but he willingly takes his antipsychotic medication, despite the occasional adverse side effect.

Schoenborn killed his 10-year-old daughter Kaitlynne and sons, Max and Cordon, aged eight and five, in the family’s home in Merritt in April 2008.

The murder trial heard that Schoenborn was experiencing psychosis at the time of the killings and thought he was saving his children from sexual and physical abuse, though no evidence suggested this was the case.

Gill said he does not dispute the “brutal nature” of his client’s offences.

Schoenborn has been at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C., since being found not criminally responsible.

Two years ago the B.C. Review Board gave the director of the facility the authority to grant Schoenborn supervised outings as part of his treatment, though so far none has been granted.

Arguments into whether Schoenborn meets the criteria of a high-risk accused person are expected to wrap up by the end of the week and proceedings on the constitutionality of the legislation are scheduled to begin June 26.

Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

High winds cause havoc for sailors

RCMP assists boats with sail problems on Okanagan Lake

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read