N.B. man who killed two retirees stays in psychiatric care; families relieved

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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MONCTON - Family members of an elderly New Brunswick couple slain in their home more than four years ago begged a psychiatric review board Thursday to keep the killer locked up indefinitely so they can feel safe.
Members of Fred Fulton and Verna Decarie's families attended the review board hearing in Moncton, held to determine the fate of killer Gregory Allen Despres.
The psychiatrists testifying say his condition hadn't improved, that he will remain in the high-security psychiatric wing of Dorchester Penitentiary, and that he won't be having another review hearing until May 2011.
The 26-year-old killed 74-year old Fulton and 70-year-old Decarie in their home in Minto on April 24, 2005.
He stabbed both of them multiple times and decapitated Fulton.
A judge found that Despres committed the murders but wasn't criminally responsible for them because he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenic delusions at the time.
Twelve victim-impact statements from family members were filed with the New Brunswick review board, and three read their statements aloud at the hearing.
All agreed that while they've gotten better at dealing with the pain of their loss and moving on, the pain persists and probably always will.
Fulton's sister Marilyn Richardson said the horrific way in which her loved ones were killed means the painful memories will always be with her.
Brenda Case, Fulton's niece and Richardson's daughter, said every spring, when the anniversary of the murders arrives, those old wounds are reopened.
The notion that the review board could one day release Despres into the community is too much to bear, she said.
Case said she remembers Despres glaring at her and other Fulton family members in the courtroom during the trial.
She said she fears Despres would target other members of the family if he was released.
"Please keep my family safe; keep Despres in jail," said Mary Elizabeth Kennedy-Fulton, Fred Fulton's daughter-in-law.
"My heart is still broken ... And yes, it is less painful in some ways. I still cry a lot and I still hurt a lot ... I just want it to be done, but I know it'll never be done."
Despres has been held in custody at the Shepody Healing Centre, a secure psychiatric facility at Dorchester Penitentiary, since before his conviction.
Psychiatrists told the review board he still is a paranoid schizophrenic and imagines he's is being persecuted.
He also does not acknowledge the murders or speak about them, they said.
Family members expressed disgust at the hearing Thursday when it was revealed that Despres spends some of his spare time playing video games on his own PlayStation gaming console.
Christian Demore, a psychology resident who is treating Despres, said that Despres earned the gaming unit through an in-house program at Shepody.

Organizations: Shepody Healing Centre

Geographic location: MONCTON, New Brunswick, Minto

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