‘This isn’t the end’: Brentwood victims’ families, Matthew de Grood’s parents react to verdict

The families of the five young victims of the Brentwood tragedy and the parents of Matthew de Grood said the end of the trial is not the end of their nightmare, in emotional statements outside court Wednesday.

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  • Matthew de Grood found not criminally responsible in Brentwood murders

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    De Grood was found not criminally responsible (NCR) in the stabbing deaths of five people, after a judge ruled he had “lost touch with reality” at a 2014 house party in Calgary. NCR applies to those who are found to have committed an act that constitutes an offence, but cannot appreciate or understand what they did was wrong due to a mental disorder at the time.

    READ MORE: Matthew de Grood found not criminally responsible in Brentwood murders 

    “The finding of NCR will be a recurring nightmare for our families,” said Lawrence Hong’s brother, Miles, on behalf of the families. “In this system, Matthew de Grood will meet with a mental health review board every single year to determine if he will be granted concessions.”

    WATCH: Matthew de Grood found not criminally responsible in Calgary mass murder. Reid Fiest reports.

    “There will be no peace for us; our wounds never fully heal because every year our families will have to wonder, what will be the fate of the man who damaged so many lives?”

    Hong thanked Justice Eric Macklin for letting the families read five victim tributes during court proceedings. He said the families’ goal is to keep the spotlight on the five lives that were lost.

    SPECIAL COVERAGE: Remembering the Brentwood 5

    “These are the individuals who should be remembered,” Hong said. “These are the lives that were lost, and no matter what, Kaiti, Jordan, Josh, Zack and Lawrence are still gone and our families will never be whole again.”

    Hong said the families would support the prosecution in seeking a high-risk NCR designation, which he said would “give gravitas to the fact Matthew de Grood killed five people and support the system in ensuring that he is not a threat to the public.”

    “Unfortunately, no matter what the outcome is, or could have been, our loved ones Lawrence, Zack, Josh, Jordan and Kaiti are gone – and there is no changing that fact,” Hong said.

    “These five young, bright people will only smile in our memories; we can only hug them in our dreams. And every moment–good or bad–will be spent wishing they could share it with us. Their lives, our lives, their friends and the futures for all of us affected are forever changed.”

    Watch below: Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg and defence lawyer Allan Fay react to the verdict and explain the high risk NCR designation outside court

    Crown Prosecutor explains high risk NCR

    02:09

    Crown Prosecutor explains high risk NCR

00:41

Crown Prosecutor explains why they would apply for high risk NCR

01:29

Matthew de Grood’s defence on possibility of high risk NCR

02:21

Defence reacts to not criminally responsible verdict for Matthew de Grood

01:11

‘He’s relieved we can now move forward’: Matthew de Grood’s laywer



Gregg Perras, Kaiti’s father, said the victims’ families would need to accept the expert witness testimony that de Grood is schizophrenic.

“We have to accept that, but all I do know is that there’s no cure for schizophrenia—there’s only controlling the impulses and the delusions with medication,” Perras said.

“This isn’t the end. We—These families all have a life sentence now. Our life sentence is to every year go to the mental health review board and try to make sure that this dangerous offender never gets out and has a chance to hurt anyone else. So it’s not over; it’s just the start.”

Watch below: Greg Perras speaks at conclusion of Matthew de Grood murder trial 

Doug de Grood, Matthew’s father, issued a short statement after Hong and Perras spoke, saying he accepted the court’s decision.

“We will continue to walk by our son’s side as together we travel the long and painful road ahead of us,” he said.

“Today is not the end of this tragic nightmare. We live it every day. We will continue to live it every day for the rest of our lives.”

De Grood acknowledged the “overwhelming heartache and suffering from the families of the victims.”

“As we move forward, we will continue to keep the victims and their families in our prayers in hopes that time will eventually begin to heal their pain and suffering.”

Watch below: Matthew’s father, Doug de Grood, speaks at conclusion of trial 

READ MORE: LIST – Canada’s prominent not criminally responsible (NCR) cases