Dad of fugitive killer from Port Alberni placed on peace bond

The father of fugitive killer Bryer Schmegelsky has been placed on a 12-month peace bond after pleading guilty to sending harassing and threatening emails to a deputy minister in the provincial government last December.

On Thursday, Victoria provincial court Judge Mayland McKimm found Bobbi Plecas had real and legitimate reason to fear that Alan Schmegelsky would cause her injury.

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Special prosecutor Dirk Ryneveld told the court that Schmegelsky sent 10 harassing emails and four threatening emails to Plecas between Dec. 12 and Dec. 27, 2019. Schmegelsky also sent two emails to B.C. Premier John Horgan requesting a restraining order against Plecas and asking for a federal inquiry.

Ryneveld explained that Schmegelsky blamed the government for his son’s death in August 2019 and for his father’s death years earlier from tainted blood.

Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, were at the centre of a nationwide manhunt last summer. The two men, both from Port Alberni, killed a young tourist couple — American Chynna Deese and Australian Lucas Fowler — and botany lecturer Leonard Dyck in northern British Columbia. In videos made before their deaths, Schmegelsky and McLeod admitted responsibility for the three murders but provided no explanation and expressed no remorse. On Aug. 7, they were found dead of self-inflicted gun wounds in the wilderness of northern Manitoba.

Alan Schmegelsky’s mental health has suffered because of the incident with his son, said Ryneveld.

In the emails, Schmegelsky makes corruption allegations against Bobbi Plecas and her father Robert Plecas. One email, entitled “Buh-bye” contained a photo taken at the autopsy of Bryer Schmegelsky, showing a gunshot wound to the head, said Ryneveld.

On Dec. 26, Bobbi Plecas received a profanity-laced phone call from Schmegelsky telling her he knew where she lived.

The emails then became increasingly obscure, said Ryneveld. On Dec. 27, Schmegelsky sent Plecas a picture of an ad for an assault weapon with no other text. It was the same weapon used in Bryer Schmegelsky’s death, he said.

“The effect of those phone calls and emails has been distressing for both her and her family,” said Ryneveld.

Schmegelsky is on probation for three other charges of criminal harassment in Victoria, said the special prosecutor.

“Mr. Schmegelsky has been through an immensely traumatic event, not just the tragedy he suffered in his early life with his father’s untimely death, but also more recently with the shocking events that led to his son’s death,” said his lawyer Sarah Leamon. “He describes it as an unspeakable personal tragedy and he describes himself as a traumatized person as a result of these events in his life.”

Schmegelsky had ongoing issues with the Children’s Ministry for 30 years; Robert Plecas was a director at the ministry for a period of time, said Leamon. And although he faced significant barriers to get counselling, he is now seeing a registered psychologist every week.

“He is doing trauma therapy and that has been very helpful for him in moving forward,” said Leamon.

Schmegelsky had a good career as foreman in the trades with the carpenters’ union but he has been unable to work since last summer because of his mental health issues, she said.

“He is working on his recovery and his mental health. He is attempting to improve himself and make sense of all the unspeakable tragedy he has been through,” said Leamon, adding that Schmegelsky has been on court-ordered conditions since December 2019 with no issue.

Both Ryneveld and Leamon asked the court to impose the 12-month peace bond with conditions for Schmegelsky to refrain absolutely from contacting Bobbi Plecas or her father and their family members.

In addition, Schmegelsky must not be on Vancouver Island without the express written consent of his bail supervisor.

Schmegelsky did not wish to address the court and McKimm warned him he was getting off easily.

“Mr. Schmegelsky, you need to understand, sir, that while you may perceive that you have suffered unspeakable personal tragedy, to lash out at members of the government who devote themselves to serving the public every day is completely unacceptable to the very fabric of the way our society functions,” said McKimm.

“Breaches of this order will be taken extremely seriously and you can expect that the full weight of the law will be brought to bear if the most compassionate and empathetic result obtained on this occasion is in fact ignored or breached.”

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