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Victims' family angry after senior charged in double killing released on bail

A grieving family is outraged that the man accused in a double killing in Chilliwack last week is being released on bail.

Robert Amede Freeman, 83, appeared in court Thursday in Chilliwack, where he’s facing two charges of second-degree murder.

He was arrested Sept. 14 after police were called to a mobile home park on Chilliwack Lake Road following reports of shots fired.

John Kavaloff, 58, and Valerie Smith, 67, were found dead inside their home. At the time, police said the incident may have stemmed from a neighbour dispute.

The victim’s family has described the couple as loving people and devoted grandparents.

“A week ago, our family received shocking news that would forever change our lives and leave gigantic holes in our hearts,” said Joy Finnigan, the daughter-in-law of the victims, calling it a senseless tragedy.

“It is too difficult to convey the crushing impact of their loss on our lives,” she said, reading from a statement outside the courthouse.

“Two lives taken suddenly in this horrific manner is unthinkable and has been particularly traumatizing,” Finnigan said. “As adults, we’re struggling to make sense of and come to terms with what happened."

Finnigan said the family faces a long, painful road as they sort through their immense loss.

“Making this tragedy worse is that Robert Freeman has been released back into the community,” Finnigan said, calling the judge’s decision distressing and cruel.

“This release has already opened up fresh wounds, and now they have been torn open again,” she said, adding that to the family, Freeman's release is "incomprehensible."

Freeman was granted bail with several conditions, including that he not possess weapons.

He returns to court Sept. 25. Top Stories


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