MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - A southern Alberta girl convicted in the murder of her parents and brother when she was 12 has been granted another bit of freedom.
Starting in November, the girl, who is now 17, will no longer have to report to a halfway house at night.
Justice Scott Brooker made the ruling at a hearing in Medicine Hat on Tuesday.
It is the fourth and final stage of an intensive reintegration program that is part of the girl's sentence. She must still abide by a dozen conditions, which include a curfew, continued treatment and a ban on drug use. She must also stay in Alberta and either work or attend school.
She is to be fully released without supervision when she turns 22.
The girl was convicted along with her boyfriend Jeremy Steinke of murdering her family in April 2006 because her parents were displeased with the relationship. Steinke was 23 at the time and her parents felt he was too old for their daughter.
He is serving a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
Crown prosecutor Ramona Robins explained outside court that the 4 1/2 years the girl will be under supervision in the community is like youth parole.
"This started with closed custody and moved to open custody, but it was still custody. All of her movements were limited. In this community supervision, that's not the case," Robins said.
The teen will have to toe the line as outlined by Brooker.
"If she violates any of these conditions, she'll find herself back in custody," said Robins.
Defence lawyer Katherin Beyak said the girl has some reservations about being back in society but is looking forward to it.
"She's really happy to be getting on with the rehabilitation side of it and trying to put her life back together," Beyak said.