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'Something went wrong': B.C. premier calls on Ottawa after Tori Dunn's killing

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B.C.'s premier is calling on the federal government to take a closer look at how its bail law is being applied after a Surrey woman was killed in her own home earlier this month.

Premier David Eby spoke about Tori Dunn's death at a news conference Monday, calling her a "remarkable person."

"All of us want the same thing, which is the person responsible to be brought to justice and to be held accountable for this horrific crime," he said.

Police found 30-year-old Dunn suffering from life-threatening injuries in a home on 182A Street around 10 p.m. on June 16. She was taken to hospital but did not survive.

Police arrested a suspect nearby, who remains in custody for an unrelated charge but has not yet been charged with Dunn's killing, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

"Something went wrong here. Something went wrong," Eby said Monday. "An individual who was charged with a serious crime was brought in front of the court, the Crown said, ‘Please don't release this person, they're likely to offend, it will compromise the public's confidence in the justice system,’ and the judge applying the law decided to release that person where he allegedly went out and murdered another person. Something obviously went wrong here."

At a vigil over the weekend, Dunn's brother, Lee, also called for change.

"There needs to be some reform. This guy shouldn’t have been out walking around," he said. "This shouldn't have happened. It could have been prevented." 

Eby said he wants the federal government to look into the application of its bail reform system, which was adjusted earlier this year

Bill C-48, which came into effect on Jan. 4, expanded the use of reverse-onus provisions, which force the accused in some cases to demonstrate why they should be released on bail, rather than requiring prosecutors to prove why they should remain in custody. The bill also broadens the reverse onus targeting repeat offenders of intimate partner violence, and requires the courts to consider an accused person's history of convictions for violence when making a bail decision.

"Whether it's the judge's application of the law or whether it's the law itself, this case cries out for ensuring that the federal government is looking at this. This is their responsibility. This is their law. Our provincial prosecutors said please don't release him, and the court said he's released under the federal law," Eby said. "We need to make sure we're learning from cases like this so this woman's life does not go in vain." 

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