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‘We are back where we started’: Father of Kaiti Perras frustrated with Matthew de Grood’s appeal

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

The father of one of the victims in Calgary’s worst mass killing is in disbelief after Matthew de Grood filed an appeal of a 2022 Alberta review board ruling.

de Grood was found not criminally responsible in 2016 in connection with the 2014 deaths of Zackariah Rathwell, Jordan Segura, Kaiti Perras, Josh Hunter and Lawrence Hong.

The five were stabbed to death during a house party in the northwest Calgary neighbourhood of Brentwood. It was determined at the time of the killings, de Grood was living with undiagnosed schizophrenia.

The status of de Grood is assessed on an annual basis by an Alberta review board. He continues to receive treatment at the Alberta Hospital Edmonton and lives in a restricted, highly structured group home.

In the latest decision from September 2022, the board determined de Grood posed a significant risk to the public and was not entitled to an absolute discharge.

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Global News learned on Sept. 15 that de Grood is seeking an appeal of the 2022 ruling at the Supreme Court of Canada as he wants an absolute or conditional discharge that would pave the way for a return to Calgary.

Gregg Perras, father of Kaiti Perras, said he was shocked de Grood filed an application to the Supreme Court of Canada. According to Perras, the Alberta review board said de Grood has a “very high risk” of causing more trouble if he is given more freedoms.

“I remember the day I found out that Katie died. It’s fresh. When we do these reviews and these appeals, it’s fresh in your mind every three or four months. It’s right back to where you started,” Perras told Global News.

“We’re back where we started, where we get anxious and concerned and worried and angry. It just bubbles back to the surface right away.”

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Perras said he spoke to the family members of the other victims, and everyone is hoping the Supreme Court will not accept de Grood’s appeal because he’s convinced it could have negative ramifications.

“Hopefully, the Supreme Court won’t even hear their case because usually they only spend time on things that matter to the entire country, not to one individual,” he said.

“If the Supreme Court even hears the appeal, it could have far-reaching ramifications for other patients who are found not criminally responsible who want more freedoms … It puts into question the process and provincial control on reviews and decisions made by legal and medical professionals.”

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Perras added he never wants to see de Grood discharged.

“He should never get absolute discharge ever. He killed five people … Right now they have the full support of the government-supported forensic medical experts. They can keep an eye on him.”

–with files from Ryan White, Global News.