Psychiatrist says Schoenborn's angry outbursts have dropped in past six months
Allan Schoenborn is shown in an undated RCMP handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO BC RCMP)
Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 10, 2017 2:25PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 10, 2017 4:45PM EST
PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. -- A man found not criminally responsible for killing his three children still struggles to control his anger but his outbursts have become less frequent and intense over the past six months, a psychiatrist says.
Dr. Marcel Hediger told a British Columbia Review Board Hearing on Friday that Allan Schoenborn, 49, has difficulty in the moment putting the anger-management techniques he has learned into practice but he has developed better insight into what causes him to react.
Hediger said it was possible, but unlikely that he would recommend Schoenborn for escorted outings into the community within the next year.
Schoenborn stabbed his 10-year-old daughter Kaitlynne and smothered his sons Max and Cordon, who were eight and five, in their home in Merritt in April 2008.
A judge later ruled the man was not criminally responsible for the deaths because he was experiencing psychosis at the time he killed the children in the belief he was saving them from a life of physical and sexual abuse.
Schoenborn sat slumped in a chair during parts of the hearing, wearing a blue sweater, torn jeans and slippers.
A 2015 review board decision says Schoenborn was diagnosed as having a delusional disorder, a substance abuse disorder and paranoid personality traits, but his symptoms had been in remission for many years.
Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Hart, an expert witness for the Crown, told the review board on Friday that he doubted Schoenborn would be ready for escorted outings within the next two to three years, if ever.
Schoenborn's psychiatric disorders are overlaid on a foundation of personality and coping problems, and it is uncertain whether his recent progress is sustainable without significant ongoing treatment and support, Hart told the review board.
"This is not just rehabilitation. This is habilitation," he said, adding Schoenborn will have to function at a high level for the first time. "Many people don't win that battle."
"I continue to hold out hope that ... Mr. Schoenborn will prove us all wrong. I just don't think that's likely."
Board chairman Barry Long asked Hart why he should prefer his advice over that of Hediger, who has regular contact with Schoenborn as the director of his treatment team.
"I would characterize my evidence as very similar to Dr. Hediger's," Hart replied.
"Bulls---," Schoenborn interjected, prompting a member of his legal team put a hand on his arm and whisper something into his ear.
The review board sits in panels of three and can order someone to remain in custody or grant them either a conditional or absolute discharge. Custody orders can be tailored to individual cases.
Schoenborn consented to forego a hearing in 2016 while the B.C. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether he should be designated a high-risk accused.
A judge rejected the Crown's application in August, ruling Schoenborn didn't fit the criteria for the high-risk label, saying that while the killings were brutal, they were committed because of his delusional state.