Trial date set for accused in Brentwood murders
Matthew De Grood will stand trial in May 2016 for the slaying of five Calgary students
More than a year after the worst mass slaying in Calgary’s history, a trial date has been set for suspect Matthew De Grood. Facing five counts of first degree murder in, 23 year old De Grood was determined fit to stand trial after a preliminary hearing in March of this year.
The case will be heard by an out of town judge at the request of both counsels, a precaution taken to avoid possible biases. De Grood’s father is a high ranking police officer in Calgary, may be called upon to testify during the trial.
De Grood is accused of murdering Josh Hunter, Lawrence Hong, Kaiti Perras, Jordan Segura and Zackariah Rathwell at a small party on April 15, 2014, where the victims were celebrating the end of their school year at the University of Calgary.
After news publications and stations pressed for the release of court documents connected to the multiple killings case, provincial court Judge Timothy Hironaka has allowed access but with a publication ban. The ban seeks to protect De Grood’s right to a fair trial while providing constitutionally protected access to information about the courts. The names of any witnesses must be removed from the documents before being made available for viewing.
It is necessary to approach information about a trial of this nature with sensitivity and great care. The publication ban will serve also to protect the connected families from unnecessary anguish and allow them the dignity of accessing this information in a more private manner.