B.C. Review Board lets child killer Schoenborn keep eligibility for 28-day leave

B.C. Review Board lets child killer Schoenborn keep eligibility for 28-day leave
Allan Schoenborn is shown in this sketch attending a British Columbia Review Board in Coquitlam, B.C. on Thursday March 12, 2020.

The British Columbia Review Board has ruled that Allan Schoenborn, who killed his three children in 2008, will keep his eligibility for up to 28 days of unescorted leave from a psychiatric hospital.

The decision prompted a spokesman for the children’s relatives to call for the publication of a government report into the release of dangerous individuals from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C.

The board ruled Friday that Schoenborn, who killed his children aged five, eight and 10, will keep his eligibility for up to 28 days of unescorted leave from the hospital.

In a decision posted online by Dave Teixeira, a spokesman for the children’s relatives, the board said Schoenborn must not possess weapons, use alcohol or non-approved drugs or have contact with the relatives.

Teixeira said the family was disappointed by the decision, especially since he said the board, the Crown and Schoenborn’s defence had all agreed at Tuesday’s hearing that the man remains a “high risk.”

“This is not someone who is remorseful,” Teixeira said in an interview. “This is someone who is agitated, angry, and unfortunately that’s going to manifest itself into the violent nature that he’s known his whole life.”

The board’s decision acknowledged Schoenborn’s name change to Ken John Johnson, a move that led the provincial government to propose legislation to prevent those convicted of serious crimes from changing names in the future.

RELATED: B.C. moves to prevent offender name changes after child killer legally gets new name

Schoenborn was found guilty of the first-degree murder of his children, whose bodies were found in the family’s Merritt, B.C., home, but a judge ruled he was not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

He has been held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital since 2010, but in 2022 the Review Board granted the hospital director discretion to allow him up to 28 days of overnight leave.

In September, B.C. Premier David Eby appointed former Abbotsford police chief Bob Rich to look into the matter of dangerous individuals being released on unescorted leave after another man on a pass from the hospital stabbed three people in Chinatown.

Teixeira said the results of that review need to be made public as soon as possible to ensure public safety.

“This review, to the best of my knowledge, has not been made public,” Teixeira said. “We don’t know what’s going on. And I think it’s high time that review be concluded and released.

“There is clearly issues at that hospital. They’re not serving those who need help the most, and those are our most vulnerable people in our society, those who are mentally ill, nor are they serving the families of victims.”

Teixeira said family members of the children are tense, especially after learning at the hearing that Schoenborn had been placed on a waiting list for a transitional housing facility that may eventually lead to a full discharge.

The hearing and decision this week came after an earlier hearing in April was abruptly adjourned when Schoenborn’s lawyer said he would no longer appear in front of the board’s current panel.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024.

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