Matthew De Grood: Trial To Begin For Accused In Calgary Stabbing Deaths

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CALGARY — A man accused of stabbing five young people at an end-of-school house party is to go to trial Monday in what police have said is Calgary's worst mass killing.

Matthew de Grood, 24, faces five counts of first-degree murder. He's been in custody since shortly after the attack on April 15, 2014.

Police were called to a four-bedroom home on a tree-lined street in the city's northwest after things went horribly wrong at the party, which was being held to mark the end of the university school year.

Three men were found dead at the scene. A fourth man found stabbed on the front lawn and a woman who was stabbed inside the home died in hospital.

matthew de grood
A sketch of Matthew de Grood, appearing in a Calgary court on April 22, 2014, by artist Janice Fletcher, is shown. (Photo: Janice Fletcher/Canadian Press)

Lawrence Hong, 27; Josh Hunter, 23; Kaitlin Perras, 23; Zackariah Rathwell, 21; and Jordan Segura, 22, were all killed.

Police have not said what they believe may have motivated the attack. They have revealed de Grood was invited to the party and mingled with guests before violence broke out.

The trial is scheduled for two weeks. It is being heard by an out-of-town judge at the request of both the prosecution and defence, because de Grood's father is a high-ranking city police officer and could be called to testify.

A psychiatric review determined de Grood was fit to stand trial, because he understands the charges against him and is able to communicate with his lawyer.

He has been undergoing treatment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre since his arrest.

Allan Fay, who represents de Grood, hasn't ruled out a defence of not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder.

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