May 22nd, 2024

‘Off the rails’: Schoenborn hearing adjourned, lawyer refuses to appear before board

By The Canadian Press on April 17, 2024.

Allan Schoenborn is shown in this sketch attending a British Columbia Review Board in Coquitlam, B.C. on Thursday March 12, 2020. A hearing for a man who killed his three children in 2008 ended with an abrupt adjournment, shortly after his longtime lawyer told the British Columbia Review Board that he would no longer appear in front of the current panel. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Felicity Don

COQUITLAM, B.C. – A hearing for AllanSchoenborn, who killed his three children in 2008, has ended with an abrupt adjournment after his lawyer told the British Columbia Review Board he would no longer appear in front of its current panel.

Lawyer Rishi Gill says he continues to represent Schoenborn, who was found not criminally responsible for the killings, but his client will need new counsel before the board, which says it will reschedule the hearing.

Gill says he didn’t make the decision lightly, which came after a “back and forth” that included “commentary” from the board chair that he felt was inappropriate.

He says the chair rejected his request for a brief adjournment, and he decided he would no longer continue.

Schoenborn has been held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C., since 2010, after killing his 10-year-old daughter and two sons, aged five and eight.

Gill says Schoenborn isn’t seeking any changes tohis current privileges at the hospital, where the director has been granted discretion to allow him up to 28 days of overnight leave.

Dave Teixeira, a spokesman for the children’s family, says the hearing “went off the rails” after the chair of the review board asked a witness from the hospital whether Schoenborn is a danger to children, and the witness said yes.

The remark prompted an “outburst” from Schoenborn, says Teixeira, who attended the hearing via livestream.

The chair of the board also noted while listening to the testimony that Schoenborn had been involved in at least a dozen violent incidents with staff and other patients since October 2023, information that wasn’t included in a hospital report, he said.

Gill says Schoenborn has changed his legal name, and the new name hasn’t been made public.

A review board document shows Schoenborn submitted an application to have his new name redacted from the board’s decisions. He also asked that his new name not be published in any legal proceeding without approval from the board.

But the document dated April 16 shows the board denied the application, though it said he should be called Allan Schoenborn at Wednesday’s hearing.

If the board doesn’t hear from anyone seeking to challenge the ruling by the end of this month, its dispositions and reasons related to Schoenborn will include both his current and former legal name.

Schoenborn was diagnosed with delusional disorder and told his B.C. Supreme Court trial he killed his children to protect them from an imagined threat of sexual abuse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

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