NEWS

Jeffrey Arenburg, not criminally responsible in '95 shooting, back in Ottawa

11/12/2014 05:16 EST | Updated 01/12/2015 05:59 EST
Jeffrey Arenburg, who was found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder for the shooting death of Ottawa TV sportscaster Brian Smith in 1995, is back in Ottawa, CBC News has learned.

Arenburg's car, with Nova Scotia licence plates, was found abandoned on the weekend on Richardson Side Road near Carp, just outside of Ottawa.

Some residents of the downtown Ottawa Mission homeless shelter told CBC News they've spotted Arenburg there, but Mission officials would not confirm it, citing their privacy policies. The Mission did say it has mental health programs in place for its residents.

The Mission is just a stone's throw from the offices of CTV Ottawa. Police in Canada's capital city consider Arenburg a "low risk," sources told CBC News, but officers have informed CTV staff, past and present, that Arenburg is back in town.

In 1995, Arenburg went to the old offices of CJOH with a gun. He shot and killed Smith, a sportcaster, in a crime that shook the city.

Because Arenburg has schizophrenia, he was found not criminally responsible for the crime.

He spent six years in a psychiatric institution, followed by time in a halfway house, but was granted an absolute discharge in 2006 by the Ontario Review Board.

Today, he is a free man.

In January of this year, Arenburg told his story for the first time to CBC's the fifth estate.

Arenburg said that while Canada’s legal system determined he was not responsible for his actions, it has been difficult to move on with his life.

“OK, I shot Brian Smith,” he said. But he adds that he also has “a right to have a life without everybody being told what to think” about him because of the not-criminally-responsible label.

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