NEWS

Hearing for Alberta mother who drowned sons set for Friday

04/04/2013 04:28 EDT | Updated 06/04/2013 05:12 EDT
An immigration board hearing for Allyson McConnell, the Alberta mother who drowned her two young sons, will be held tomorrow afternoon in Edmonton, CBC News has learned.

McConnell is being kept at an Edmonton psychiatric hospital by the Immigration and Refuge Board of Canada even though she finished serving her manslaughter sentence today.

By law she must have a detention review within 48 hours of being taken into custody, said immigration spokesperson Melissa Anderson.

"There must be a review of the reasons for detention at the 48 hours or without delay thereafter," she said.

The Canada Border Services Agency has ordered McConnell out of the country and back to her native Australia.

Plans for removing McConnell from the country are expected to be revealed at Friday's hearing.

"In the case of removal, yes they would usually outline to some degree the plans for removal ... because detention's not supposed to be a long term thing," said Anderson. "

McConnell to fly to Australia next week

CBC News sources indicate she will continue to be held at Alberta Hospital until she's placed on a plane early next week.

Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis has asked federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to intervene and keep McConnell in the country for the time being.

Allyson McConnell, an Australian national, was convicted of manslaughter in April 2012 in the deaths of her sons 2½-year-old Connor and 10-month-old Jayden.

She was sentenced to six years in prison last June and received a two-for-one credit for time already served. She has been in Alberta Hospital since her arrest.

While McConnell herself wants to return to Australia, Denis wants her to remain in Canada while the Crown appeals her manslaughter conviction and sentence.

McConnell has been considered a suicide risk and the sentencing judge recommended that she remain in hospital until she was no longer a danger to herself or others.

The bodies of McConnell's sons were discovered in her Millet, Alta. home in February 2010 during a divorce battle with her husband, Curtis.

During the trial, the prosecution argued McConnell killed her boys as revenge against her husband.

But the defence said McConnell's mind was so clouded by alcohol, sleeping pills and severe depression that she couldn't have formed the intent required to convict her of second-degree murder.

McConnell testified during her trial that she couldn't remember anything about the events of that weekend.

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