Thursday, January 21, 2010

Defense Attorney: Dad/child killer knew what he was doing (Kahloops, British Columbia, Canada)

The trial of dad ALLAN SCHOENBORN for the murder of his 3 children is coming to a conclusion. Everybody seems to know he did it. It's just a question of if "he knew killing his children was wrong."

Merritt child killer knew what he was doing, defence lawyer argues
Thursday, January 21st, 2010 1:20 pm

KAMLOOPS — Allan Schoenborn knew what he was doing when he stabbed his young daughter and smothered his two boys, the man's defence lawyer argued Thursday.

The question for the court will be whether or not he knew killing his children was wrong, lawyer Peter Wilson said in his closing submissions.

The lawyer told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Powers that there is little question Schoenborn suffered a major mental illness – two experts have said as much.

That meets the first requirement of the law if Schoenborn is to be found not criminally responsible, Wilson argued. The next step for the judge will be to decide if that disorder robbed Schoenborn of his capacity to know right from wrong.

Wilson said statements Schoenborn made to many people, including the Merritt hunting guide who found him in the hills, support the theory Schoenborn believed he was acting morally.

Schoenborn told hunting guide Kim Robinson he killed his children to save them, because he loved them. The father has testified he believed his children were being sexually abused and he felt powerless to protect them.

"It was clear to him the only sensible course of action . . . was to kill his children. He believed it was right.

"He saw reality on an entirely different plane than the rest of us. He saw his children were at great risk, that they were destined to suffer a fate worse than death . . . and he had no option if he wanted to protect them.

"Except to kill them. He believed it was moral and right by ordinary standards to do that," Wilson said.

Kaitlynne, 10, Max, 8 and Cordon, 5, were found dead in the family's Merritt trailer April 6, 2008 by their mother Darcie Clarke. Schoenborn is charged with first-degree murder.

The defence submissions continue, with the Crown's argument to follow later in the day and Friday.