Hopley pleads guilty to abducting Kienan Hebert
Published Monday, March 26, 2012 7:37PM EDT
Randall Hopley has pleaded guilty to abducting three-year-old Kienan Hebert from his home in southeast British Columbia last September.
Hopley pleaded guilty to abduction of a person under 14, and break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence.
Hopley, 46, entered his pleas by video link from a jail in Kamloops, B.C., CTV's Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks tweeted Monday afternoon. Monday's proceedings were originally scheduled as a hearing to fix a court date.
Hopley pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, the third charge he was facing in the case. The Crown is expected to stay that charge.
Hebert was taken from his bed at his home in Sparwood in the early morning hours of last September 6.
After his parents reported him missing, police and local residents launched a massive search operation. However, the boy was returned to his family four days later under mysterious circumstances.
The child was apparently unharmed.
Hopley had been identified as a suspect early on in the search, and was the subject of a police manhunt after Hebert was returned.
The man was picked up days later at an abandoned cabin at a camp in the Crowsnest Lake area, which is just across the border from British Columbia and a short drive from Sparwood.
Court documents released last year showed Hopley was identified as mentally disabled at the age of eight, but did not receive the treatment that was recommended to help him develop his social skills.
Included was a psychiatric report from 1982, which warned that a then-17-year-old Hopley was an unrepentant sex offender who was likely to reoffend. He had been accused of sexually assaulting three children.
In 1985, he was charged and convicted of sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
In 2007, Hopley was accused of attempting to take a 10-year-old boy from his foster home. He was convicted of break and enter, but charges of unlawful confinement and attempted abduction were stayed.
A sentencing hearing for Hopley is scheduled for July.
With files from The Canadian Press