Layne Larose may have murdered David Kennedy and Hughie Sayers, but the brutal slaying had many other victims. So with April 10 – 16 being declared Victims of Crime Awareness Week in Saskatchewan, the week is an opportunity to raise awareness about the needs of victims of crime and tragedy in Saskatchewan. This year’s theme is “Many Voices, Many Paths”.
So it is fitting that many Saskatchewan voices went unheeded when nine years after David Kennedy and Hughie Sayers were brutally murdered with an axe, the man found not criminally responsible for their deaths will be free to live in the Battlefords.
Layne Larose will be allowed to live in an approved home in North Battleford or Battleford with an operator committed to monitoring Larose and reporting to his treatment team, according to a decision by the Sask. Review Board on Friday following an application for release at a hearing in October, 2010. At this hearing numerous victim impact statements were read while numerous others were rejected.
A board hearing will be scheduled when an appropriate home has been located and conditions of Larose’s release will be set at that time.
Larose, now 48, was initially detained in the Regional Psychiatric Centre and later Saskatchewan Hospital, where he was treated for mental illness.
Justice Peter Foley, chair of the Sask. Review Board, wrote in his decision that Larose represents a continuing risk to the community, but that risk is small. “He is now ready to participate in the community and take his place as one of its productive members”.
Many family members of the victims questioned the wisdom of releasing Layne Larose, but especially into their community where encounters with Larose would be hard to avoid. Despite Layne Larose appeal for forgiveness, anger and resentment towards both Layne Larose and the Saskatchewan justice system for their handling of the murders of David Kennedy and Hughie Sayers continues to be emotional charged. There are fears that encounters could quickly escalate into situations that bring further trauma and heartbreak to families that have already suffered enough.
“Many Voices, Many Paths”… and another Review Board that just doesn’t get it!