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Crown Ward Kills
June 21, 2009 permalink
Another Alberta man has been killed by a provincial ward. The Edmonton Journal reports some of the biographical details of the accused killer. Even people who don't care about the emotional needs of children should be pushing to abolish this dysfunctional system, for their own safety.
Accused killer raised in turmoil
By Laura Drake, Edmonton Journal June 20, 2009
EDMONTON - The 16-year-old accused of murdering Curtis Osterlund has had a difficult life, living in group homes since he was a toddler, his family said Friday.
“He’s had a pretty rough upbringing,” the boy’s sister-in-law said.
“He’s been bouncing around from foster home to foster home his whole life. I think he’s only seen his mom like three times in his life. Group homes, foster homes, wherever they wanted to put him. He had to grow up so fast, all these kids did, I think it’s ridiculous.”
The boy is charged with second-degree murder in the June 12 death of 39-year-old Osterlund. He was found stabbed to death in the parking lot of Londonderry Junior High School.
The accused killer is the second teen in provincial care charged this month with murder.
A 14-year-old boy who ran away from Bosco Homes faces charges in the June 1 murders of Barry Boenke and Susan Trudel in Strathcona County.
The 16-year-old’s sister-in-law stressed that he was not a runaway. In fact, she said, he had been living in a Saddle-Lake area group home until his 16th birthday on June 6, when he reached the age limit for the facility.
His sister-in-law said authorities decided to place him in the home of her and her husband, who is the accused teen’s half-brother.
“He needed an emergency placement so he came down here. It was only supposed to be for a couple weeks,” she said.
Trevor Coulombe, a spokesman for Alberta Children and Youth Services, said he could not go into detail about the teen’s placement history, but did confirm he was placed with extended family. The teen had lived in group homes since he was one or two years old when his mother left her seven children due to a drug habit, his sister-in-law said, adding he was supposed to be placed in another group home after staying with them.
The sister-in-law said the family believes the teen should be punished if he is found guilty. He has expressed a desire to get help.
His family does want people to understand his history. ”He went through a lot of crap that no kid should have to go through.”
She said she thinks a lot of unfair conclusions about her brother-in-law are being reached for all kinds of reasons, including the fact the teen is aboriginal and that he has an uncle who was convicted of murder.
The family can’t understand why he is the only person facing charges when police have said there were also a 22-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl at the scene of the murder.
“He has no criminal record, he’s never done any violence before,” his sister-in-law said.
Source: Edmonton Journal