The family of murdered Langford teenager Kimberly Proctor hopes her death will rally government and public support to reform the young-offender system, including imposing a minimum sentence of 25 years with no chance of parole on youths convicted in adult court of murder.
Lucy Proctor, Kimberly’s mother, told a news conference Thursday that many people assume her daughter’s killers are in prison for a quarter-century. In fact, they were sentenced as young offenders last April to 10 years without parole. “We know we can never get Kim back, but we hope some good can come out of this,” she said. “We don’t wish this on anybody.”
As it stands, the family will be “dragged through all this garbage” at parole hearings in as little seven years, said Kimberly’s father, Fred. They had no idea their daughter was in school with “sociopaths,” he said.
In March 2010, Kruse Wellwood, then 16, and his friend Cameron Alexander Moffat, then 17, lured Kimberly, 18, to Wellwood’s home, where they bound and gagged her, sexually assaulted her, beat and suffocated her, then mutilated her body with a knife for several hours. They put her body in a freezer, and travelled by bus with the body the next day to the Galloping Goose Trail, where they set the body on fire.
It was a carefully planned killing that they bragged about later to friends online. They pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
“If they’re sentenced as adults, they should be getting adult time,” said Kimberly’s aunt, Joanne Landolt.
The family’s recommendations were sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper a week ago.
Stephen Fudge, president of the B.C. Crown Counsel Association, said that many of the changes the family is advocating can already happen. “It’s just not mandatory.”
Gathered at their lawyer’s office Thursday in Saanich, the Proctor family offered several proposals for what they hope will be “Kimberly’s Law,” including mandatory transfer to adult court of any young offender 16 and up charged with murder.
The family called for mandatory counselling and treatment of students identified by schools as posing a threat. It’s also seeking an amendment to B.C.’s Parental Responsibility Act that would make parents liable for up to $25,000 in civil damages for the violent actions of their children, on the grounds that a financial penalty might compel uninvolved parents to take action.
Lawyer Troy DeSouza said they were “very hopeful” a broad-based campaign would lead to changes. “I think these proposals are measured, balanced and I think we already have public support.”
The family proposed that teenagers charged with murder be kept apart from other teens in custody to prevent them from boasting of their crimes — Proctor’s grandmother, Linda Proctor, said other youth in custody with Kimberly’s killers later required counselling.
They also want the names of young offenders made public when there is a guilty verdict.
B.C. Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond called what happened to Proctor “an unthinkable tragedy” and said she appreciated the family’s “thoughtful recommendations.”
Bond said she would consider the implications of proposals that fall within provincial bounds — such as the proposed statute to ensure school boards develop threat-assessment protocols for troubled students — and would discuss the balance of the proposals with her federal colleagues.
© Copyright 2013