N.S. family ‘outraged’ by lack of access to Criminal Code review of mentally-ill man
The family of three people who were murdered just over three years ago in Wyses Corner, N.S., say they are angry and disappointed with the judicial process.
Codey Hennigar was found not criminally responsible for the murders of his mother and grandparents in January 2015. He lives at the East Coast Forensic Hospital, but is periodically allowed to leave with an escort.
Hennigar will stand before the Criminal Code Review Board Tuesday to seek greater freedom, but family members are disappointed that they can only participate via video link from the hospital in Musquobobit Harbour.
“(The family) wants to be present. They don't want to be 100 miles away through a video link. That's ridiculous," says family member Chris Paley.
Peter Lederman, chair of the Nova Scotia Criminal Review Board, says “safety” was a key factor in the decision to keep the family out of the hearing room, especially since the last one was standing room only.
"In my opinion, it's as good as being in the same room. And it's a lot safer," Lederman says. “I didn't think it was safe or prudent to have a hearing in an atmosphere where there's no security."
The board has decided to move the video conference to the Nova Scotia Hospital while the hearing itself will take place at the East Coast Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.
“We don't like to be there. We don't want to have to do this. But it has to be done, so we want to be present," says Christine Kozier, daughter of two of the victims.
CTV News has learned prosecutors will argue for an adjournment in front of the board, given the change in practice and very little notice to the public about the change in venue.
Lederman says he will try to find a secure location – possibly a courtroom – the next time Hennigar appears before the board.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.