Lawyer asks Supreme Court to hear appeal of Calgary man who killed five

EDMONTON — A lawyer for a man who fatally stabbed five young people at a Calgary house party and has been seeking more freedom while he's under psychiatric care wants the Supreme Court of Canada to hear his appeal.

"I can confirm that an application has been filed," Jacqueline Petrie said in an email Friday.

Matthew de Grood was found not criminally responsible in 2016 for the deaths two years earlier of Zackariah Rathwell, Jordan Segura, Kaiti Perras, Josh Hunter and Lawrence Hong.

The five were stabbed during a house party in the northwest Calgary neighbourhood of Brentwood, and de Grood was later determined to be living with undiagnosed schizophrenia.

He's been under psychiatric care, first in Calgary and then Edmonton, where he has been given limited freedoms.

De Grood appeared before the Alberta Review Board, which assesses his treatment and whether he should be allowed any increased privileges or freedoms, a year ago.

It ruled that de Grood must remain detained at Alberta Hospital Edmonton or the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary because he is still "a significant risk to public safety."

Petrie filed a motion last October asking the Alberta Court of Appeal to set aside the review board's order and substitute it with an absolute or conditional discharge for her client.

But Alberta's top court dismissed the application in June saying there were no reviewable errors.

"It was reasonable for the Review Board to conclude that the appellant still poses a risk of serious violent behaviour," the court said.

De Grood's trial heard he attacked the individuals at a party, held to mark the end of the school year, believing the devil was talking to him and a war was about to begin that signalled the end of the world.

He told officers he knew what he did was "atrocious," but he thought he was killing Medusas and werewolves.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press