COQUITLAM — One of B.C.’s most notorious killers could be on his way out of the province.
Child killer Allan Schoenborn requested a transfer to a psychiatric hospital in Selkirk, Manitoba at his annual B.C. Review Board at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam Friday.
The board approved the request late Friday.
Schoenborn’s lawyer told the review board panel his client was requesting the transfer to Manitoba to be closer to his mother, who can help with his possible reintegration into the community.
Neither his doctors nor the Crown at the hearing opposed the transfer request.
Schoenborn, looking clean-cut and dressed in jeans, also spoke briefly at the hearing and answered a few questions from the panel.
He mentioned his family lived in Winnipeg and that the area was “the right place to be.”
“There’s only select movement in the hospital,” he said. “It’s starting to become bothersome and I miss my mom.”
During the roughly 25-minute hearing, Schoenborn also talked about his current relationship with his mother.
“She was very kind in her visits, very attentive to me,” he said.
“It’s a proper mom and son relationship. I respect mom. She loves me and I love her.”
His case doctor, Marcel Hediger, also agreed with the transfer, suggesting Schoenborn faces “unique hurdles” in reintegration because of his notoriety.
“In terms of having close contact with family, there would be benefit for Mr. Schoenborn,” he said, noting his patient doesn’t have any family in B.C.
The panel also heard Schoenborn remains a risk to the community.
It was agreed he wouldn’t be granted any new freedoms.
Schoenborn, who killed his three children in 2008 in Merritt but was ultimately found not guilty of murder by reason of mental disorder, caused a stir in 2011 when he applied to the B.C Review Board for escorted access to get a coffee and go to a local pool. He eventually withdrew his application. He was also set to have two hearings in 2012 but cancelled both.
However, Schoenborn’s path to a new province isn’t assured.
“No one is suggesting at this point that transfer is anything that is necessarily going to happen, this is just the first step in the process,” said Crown spokesperson Neil MacKenzie following the hearing.
Though Crown supports the request, he said it would still need to be reviewed by the Criminal Justice Branch, while the attorney generals in B.C. and Manitoba need to agree to the transfer.
MacKenzie didn’t offer a specific timetable, but said the process can take some time to complete.
The family of Darcie Clarke, whose three children were killed by Schoenborn, is also reportedly asking the attorney general to oppose the move.
Stacy Galt, Clarke’s cousin, said she was surprised by the request, but also suggested the family opposes Schoenborn’s transfer because family members live near his mother.
“On one side it doesn’t really matter where Allan [Schoenborn] goes to, but on the other side, the family still wants to stay and fight here because this is where this has all happened,” she said.
Galt said her biggest concern going into the hearing was Schoenborn would be granted day passes.
She also described her emotions in seeing the man that killed her cousin’s children.
“It was nerve racking being here and seeing him [Schoenborn] today,” she said, adding she thought he looked like he was doing well.
Galt also praised new legislation recently announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to change the rules in how the justice system deals with offenders considered not criminally responsible due to a serious mental illness.