MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A young woman convicted in the horrific murder of her mother, father and 8-year-old brother a decade ago will take the final step to full freedom today.
The woman is now 22, but can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
She was convicted along with her then-boyfriend of the triple murder in the family's Medicine Hat home in April 2006. She's believed to be the youngest person ever convicted of a multiple murder in Canada.
A judge will conduct her final sentence review in a Medicine Hat courtroom on Friday.
Her 10-year youth sentence expires tomorrow.
The young woman's previous reviews have been positive and she has been referred to as a "poster child for rehabilitation.''
All curfews were removed last summer. She's been living on her own and attending university in Calgary.
She's been called a "poster child for rehabilitation."
J.R. was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to the maximum 10-year youth sentence in 2007. The sentence included four years in a psychiatric institution and 4 1/2 years under conditional supervision in the community.
Her former boyfriend, Jeremy Steinke, who was 23 at the time of the killings, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
The Crown argued she and Steinke concocted a plan to kill the girl's parents because they disapproved of the 10-year age gap between him and the girl.
A courtroom sketch of Jeremy Steinke during his jury selection on Nov.14, 2008 in Calgary. (Photo: Sharon Graham Sargent/Canadian Press)
It was suggested the crime was loosely based on Steinke's favourite movie Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone's twisted love story about a pair of young serial killers who get their start by killing the girl's parents.
Steinke argued he did not plan the murders
Steinke admitted in court that he stabbed the mother and the father after he snuck into the family's home. But he argued that he did not plan the killings.
He said he attacked the mother, who was wearing only a nightgown, after she turned on a light and found him huddled in the darkened basement.
She screamed. Her husband came running with a small screwdriver and rushed Steinke. The man died in a fighter's stance, his arms still raised above him with loose fists in a room splashed with blood.
Steinke steadfastly maintained the boy's death came at the hands of the girl.
At trial, police officers and other witnesses became emotional as they recalled seeing the body of the small boy, found on his bed with a deep slash to his throat, his eyes and mouth wide open. Stuffed animals and a toy light sabre spattered with the boy's blood could be seen next to his body.
Steinke and the girl were arrested in Leader, Sask., about a 90-minute drive away, the day after the bodies were found.
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