ALBERTA

Medicine Hat Woman Who Killed Family Has To Remain Under Curfew: Court

02/17/2015 03:34 EST | Updated 04/19/2015 05:59 EDT
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MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - A curfew remains in place for a southern Alberta woman convicted of murdering her parents and younger brother when she was 12.

The woman's defence lawyer asked a judge at a hearing in Medicine Hat on Tuesday to release her client from the restriction that is in effect between 11:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

But Justice Scott Brooker ruled to hold off on any change.

Defence council Katherin Beyak said outside court that the curfew is to be re-examined Aug. 20 once the woman has been living on her own for a few months.

"Right now there is still some supervision in the placement that she's in and she'll be moving to a situation where there won't be any supervision at all," Beyak said.

Chief Crown prosecutor Ramona Robins said the woman's case workers agree with the judge that it would be helpful to keep the curfew in place for a while longer.

"She's being moved to a more independent setting and he thought ... the curfew would assist ... to make sure that she was still complying and responsible."

Progress reports suggest the woman is at the lowest possible risk to reoffend, Robins added.

The woman can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. She was convicted as a teen along with her then-23-year-old boyfriend Jeremy Steinke of first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of her family in their Medicine Hat home in 2006.

Court heard during the trials that the girl was angry with her parents because they were displeased with her relationship with Steinke, who they felt was too old for their daughter.

Steinke received a life sentence without the chance of parole for 25 years.

The girl was given a 10-year sentence under the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision program — the maximum available for young offenders between 12 and 14.

The program is intended for young offenders who have committed violent crimes to get the treatment they need to effectively rehabilitate and gradually reintegrate into society.

A final court hearing for the woman is expected in April 2016, a month before her 10-year sentence expires.

Robins was asked whether she thought the woman would be ready then.

“I think it’s the great unknown,” Robins told reporters. “There is no precedent for it. She’s definitely followed all of the rules, she’s participated in therapy, but when there’s no further sentence and no further consequence, I’m not sure what will happen.”

“I hope this has been a successful rehabilitative process.”

(CJCY, CHQR, The Canadian Press)