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B.C. child killer's lawyer walks out of review hearing

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The lawyer representing child-killer Allan Schoenborn walked out of his client's annual review hearing Wednesday – abruptly ending proceedings marked by tense exchanges and several outbursts.

Schoenborn has been held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C., since 2010, when he was found not criminally responsible for killing his 10-year-old daughter and two sons, aged five and eight.

Wednesday's hearing was meant to determine whether Schoenborn would remain in treatment for another 12 months, or be granted conditional or full discharge.

That decision was never made.

Attorney Rishi Gill said he decided to leave after the board chair did not grant an adjournment and because of the questions and comments made by members of the board. He also said his client was not seeking any changes to his current privileges at the hospital, where the director has been granted discretion to allow him up to 28 days of overnight leave.

"Nobody is ever going to get over the horror of what happened in the past," Gill said.

“We didn't feel it was appropriate to continue to deal with this particular board at this time. It does not help matters to be subjected to some of the things that were happening in that room today," he also told reporters.

The proceedings appeared to begin respectfully, with all parties agreeing that Schoenborn “remains a significant threat to the safety of the public.”

Schoenborn sat quietly and listened attentively as things got underway.

But when the board asked a psychiatrist about his potential behaviour around children and whether he presented a danger, Schoenborn raised his voice and the hearing began to go off the rails.

“This is bulls**t,” he yelled, among more profane language. “If a child’s on a train, I have to get off?”

Gill said he is still counsel for Schoenborn but that another lawyer will represent him when the board reschedules the hearing.

Schoenborn has also legally changed his name and is asking for it not to be published in any future board decisions. That matter was also not settled by the end of Wednesday's proceedings.

Darcie Clarke, the children's mother, died in 2019. Her brother Mike says what Schoenborn did to his niece and nephews – Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon – still haunts him.

"It's pretty hard on me. I think about it every other day, about where my sister's children would be today," he said. “They would all be young adults now."

Schoenborn was diagnosed with delusional disorder and told his B.C. Supreme Court trial he stabbed and smothered his children in 2008 to protect them from an imagined threat of sexual abuse.

No date has been set for the rescheduled review board hearing.

With files from The Canadian Press

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