Youngest multiple murderer gets 10 years
We will never know her name or her face. She will spend four years in custody at Alberta Hospital, and four and one-half years under supervision. The one and one-half years she spent in prison awaiting trial counts towards her 10-year sentence, the maximum allowed under Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act. By the time she is 22, she will be free to go. Her crime was the horrific, pre-meditated slaughter of Marc and Debra Richardson and their eight-year-old son in Medicine Hat in 2006, when she was only 12. If she had been one year younger when she killed these people, she could not have been held criminally responsible at all.
This is a case that reinforces the questions many of us have been asking about our treatment of juvenile offenders. Rehabilitation is a great concept but surely that doesn't replace accountability. The girl's sentence was designed under a rarely-used intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Program designed for young criminals who have committed serious offences due to mental illness. When she gets out of the program, her life will continue almost as if the murders had never happened. Except that the Richardsons of Medicine Hat no longer exist.
EDICINE HAT, Alta. -- A 14-year-old girl convicted of three counts of first-degree murder - the youngest person ever convicted of multiple murder in Canadian history - was sentenced Thursday to four years in custody and 4 1/2 years under supervision.
The girl, described as "seriously disturbed" by the Crown after reviewing her psychiatric reports, was 12 at the time she participated in the slaughter of a family in Medicine Hat, 300 kilometres southeast of Calgary. Under federal law she cannot be identified.
Her 24-year-old co-accused, Jeremy Allan Steinke, also makes a separate court appearance Thursday for an arraignment. His defence lawyer, Alain Hepner, is seeking a change of venue in the wake of the girl's high-profile jury trial last summer. He has yet to enter a plea.
The girl was convicted by a jury July 9 for her part in the stabbing deaths of Marc and Debra Richardson and their eight-year-old son on April 23, 2006.
Crown prosecutor Stephanie Cleary had sought the maximum punishment of 10 years, saying the girl is mentally unstable and would benefit from a rarely used federal sentence program designed for young criminals guilty of serious violence who suffer from a mental illness.