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'Off the rails': Allan Schoenborn hearing adjourned, lawyer refuses to appear before board

Since 2010, Schoenborn has been kept at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, following the murder of his 10-year-old daughter and two sons, who were five and eight years old.

A hearing for Allan Schoenborn, who killed his three children in 2008, finished suddenly on Wednesday after his lawyer told the B.C. Review Board that he would not participate in front of its current panel.

Lawyer Rishi Gill said in an interview that he still represents Schoenborn, who was found not criminally responsible for the killings. However, his client will need new counsel for the board, which will reschedule the hearing.

Gill said he didn’t make the decision easily. It came after “commentary” from the chair of the review board that he felt was inappropriate, he said.

The chair refused his request for a short adjournment, Gill said, and he decided he would no longer continue.

“I didn’t feel that it would best serve Mr. Schoenborn’s interests for me to continue on, given some of the comments that were going back and forth,” he said.

“Would I act for him again next year or (in front of) a different board? Perhaps.”

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

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

In 2022, the review board gave the director of the psychiatric hospital the discretion to allow Schoenborn up to 28 days of overnight leave. He is prohibited from having any weapons and using any non-approved drugs or alcohol, and he must not have contact with the family members of the slain children.

Gill said his client wasn’t seeking changes to his current privileges on Wednesday.
Dave Teixeira, a spokesman for the children’s family, said the hearing “went off the rails” after the chair of the review board asked a witness from the hospital if Schoenborn is a danger to children, and the witness said yes.

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

Gill felt the board wasn’t treating his client fairly, Teixeira said.

He said the board chair also noted while listening to the testimony that Schoenborn had been involved in at least a dozen aggressive incidents with staff and other patients, information that wasn’t included in a hospital report.

The victims’ family members have “always wanted” Schoenborn’s privileges to be revoked, Teixeira added.

“I’m hoping that (the review board) will revoke his privileges so that Schoenborn can focus on getting better, as opposed to getting out.”

The day before the hearing, the board had rejected an application from Schoenborn to have his new legal name redacted from the board’s decisions. Schoenborn has changed his name, and the new name hasn’t been made public, Gill said.

A review board document shows Schoenborn had also asked that his new name not be published in any legal proceeding without approval from the board.

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 anyone wants to challenge the decision, they need to inform the board before the end of this month, according to the document. If the board doesn’t receive any notification, its decisions regarding Schoenborn will include both his current and previous legal name.

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