‘Commendable’: Alberta judge OKs open custody for woman who helped kill Calgary man

Calgary Courts Centre in Calgary. Calgary Herald

CALGARY — A young woman given the maximum youth sentence for her part in killing a man she and her boyfriend had gone with to buy drugs will serve the remainder of her sentence in open custody.

The offender, now 19, pleaded guilty last year to the second-degree murder of Jason Greyeyes, who court heard was a drug addict and had a bipolar disorder. The Calgary father was physically disabled, had multiple sclerosis and had mobility issues.

Greyeyes, who was 48, was bludgeoned and suffocated with a garbage bag after being attacked from behind.

An agreed statement of facts at the women’s sentencing said she and her boyfriend had talked in advance about attacking Greyeyes, but the girl didn’t take the discussions seriously.

The woman, who can’t be identified because she was a youth at the time of the killing, was sentenced last August to seven years. That included four years in secured intensive rehabilitation and three years of supervision. She was given 23 months of credit for the time she had already spent in custody.

She appeared at a one-year review of her sentence Tuesday, and both the Crown and defence recommended she be moved to a more open setting. They said her participation in programs while in custody was excellent.

“A recommendation, that the Crown agrees with, is effectively the youth sentence be confirmed, but that the remainder of the custodial portion be served in open custody … which allows more integration into the community but is still highly supervised,” said Crown prosecutor Marta Juzwiak.

The woman’s lawyer said a gradual move back into society is the right course of action.

“It makes sense to me that she transition into open custody, so she can start accessing supports in the community and start being reintegrated while still being in a tightly supervised setting,” said Graham Johnson.

Appearing via video conference, the young woman told Justice Earl Wilson that she is working toward a better future.

“I would love to transition to open custody. I think it opens a lot more doors that will help me progress even further to eventually go back home to my mom,” she said.

“I think it provides me a lot more opportunity to … have some independence and get back into a community.”

Wilson said he was impressed she realized the benefits that open custody could have and at the progress she has made in the past year.

“It’s really commendable. You have obviously taken this very seriously and it was an opportunity given to you because of what had happened,” Wilson said.

He said he still feels some discomfort about the details of the crime.

“All in all it was a very sordid and saddening, if not in many ways, a rather shocking crime. Therefore to see the change in this year is nothing short of commendable.”

The co-accused was also sentenced to seven years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2021.

Source: Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press