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article imageCanada's youngest multiple murderer now completely free

By Arthur Weinreb     May 8, 2017 in Crime
Medicine Hat - An Alberta judge has ruled the woman, who killed her parents and younger brother when she was 12-years-old, has completed her sentence and is now not subject to any conditions. The brutal killer is the youngest multiple murderer in Canadian history.
As the girl was a youth at the time the crimes were committed, she can only be referred to as J.R. The now 22-year-old, who is living in Calgary, appeared via video link before Judge C.S. Brooker sitting in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Brooker had presided over her case from the beginning. The justice described the progress she has made in glowing terms, even making the strange comment that her dead father, mother and little brother “would be proud of her.” According to the judge, she has completed her rehabilitation and there is a low chance she will re offend.
In 2007, the 12-year-old was dating Jeremy Steinke, 23, a relationship her parents did not approve of and punished her for. On the afternoon of Apr. 23, police found the bodies of her parents and eight-year-old brother in the family’s Medicine Hat home. They were brutally murdered and the eight-year-old’s throat had been cut. As J.R. was not there, police assumed the killer or killers had kidnapped her.
But authorities quickly found evidence of J.R.’s relationship with the much older man. She had written an email to Steinke suggesting a plan. The plan was to kill her parents so the two could live together. Earlier in April, Steinke had posted online he wanted to slit the parents’ throats for attempting to keep the two apart.
A few days after the brutal killings, Steinke and J.R. were found in Leader, Saskatchewan, about 80 miles away from Medicine Hat. They were each charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
In July 2007, J.R., who had turned 13 by that time, was convicted of the three counts of first-degree murder. With those convictions, she became the youngest multiple murderer in Canadian history. In a separate trial, Steinke was also convicted of killing the three family members and is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
J.R. was sentenced to 10 years, the maximum murder sentence for a person under the age of 14 years. Of that time, she spent four years in a psychiatric hospital and four and a half years living in the community under supervision. She is currently attending university in Calgary.
As reported by CBC, at the time of J.R.’s convictions, a relatively new sentencing option had come into force. Known as an Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Order (IRCS). IRCS orders are appropriate for serious violent offenders who may have mental, psychological or emotional disorders.
During the years J.R. was subject to the IRCS order, she was required to appear regularly before Justice Brooker who examined updated reports. These reports were favourable and she was even referred to as a ‘poster child” for rehabilitation. Over the years, Brooker gradually loosened the restrictions he had placed upon J.R.
When the 22-year-old appeared in court on Friday, she thanked the judge but did not apologize for what she had done, nor did she show any remorse for killing her parents and brother.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, if J.R. does not commit another crime during the next five years, her record will be sealed.
More about youth criminal justice act, Firstdegree murder, jeremy steinke, multiple murderer, Rehabilitation
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